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Perhaps you'd like to answer that, Ronny?
Ronaldinho travels to Valencia Thursday's Copa del Ray match at the Mestalla. Once more however, he's not listed in the match squad. Just what's been going on with once arguably 'the greatest footballer on the planet'?
'Dinho was once famously described as being able to 'start a party in an empty house'. The Brazilian and Barcelona's Golden Boy does project the image of someone who appreciates a good time. Certainly, he's known for his many nocturnal escapades.
Young, celebrated the world over and armed with an unreal bank account, 'Dinho has the same desire as other young men to cut loose, but with the means to do it in unimaginable style. As the good times rolled the past seasons in Barcelona, he no doubt felt that he was entitled to a party or two every now and then. Those at the Nou Camp too, possibly, felt obliged to indulge his excesses for having led them to the Champions League final and La Liga title - let the young man enjoy his youth./p>
However, this perhaps was the start of the slippery slope downhill to rot.
As his partying became more frequent, Ronny became less and less involved with first team training, taking more to the gym, where he could train alone and probably with less intensity. Barcelona's excuses for their young star, 'He has a slight injury', had the effect of sanctioning such behaviour and resulted in Ronny's becoming less and less involved in first team affairs.
Then came summer and the failure of Barca to win any meaningful titles. Professionalism became the buzzword - all players would train together and would only in the gym if advised by medical staff. This did not last past the New Year and certainly not to this month when after a 'temporary farewell' party for Lionel Messi (who was returning to Argentina to recuperate from injury), Ronny partied so hard that he was only able to last eight minutes on the communal training pitch before he had to retreat.
Club's medical report showed that Ronaldinho's right-leg injury, if not quite made up, then was certianly not anywhere near serious. MRI scans showed no damage to the affilicted area - Barca was running out of excuses for Ronny.
What about Frank Rijkaard? Ronaldinho's absence from the list of sixteen for this evening's Valencia game because of "technical reasons" - for 'Dinho trained normally today and is not on the medical roster - he has sent out a message arguably more signficant than anything he says in a press conference.
As for Ronaldinho himself, he's not said much publicly these days. He could be having problems in his personal life which has affected his professionalism, or he could be a victim of his own success, having already won most of the honours and accolades he could have ever hoped to win in his lifetime - he certainly isn't the first celebrity to be so. If that is the case, Barca might need to use another approach to help their ailing star.
Still, no matter which approach, Ronny cannot be helped unless he's willing himself to put in the hard work. If not, then the party may actually already be over.
I've been a member since July 2003, maybe one of the first to join the Silver Circle. 2004 was a good year but I really enjoyed the long run we had in, I think, July 2005. It was exhilarating! 2006-2007 was not as exciting although still quite profitable and so far 2007-2008 looks quite good. I'm wondering if we're going to hit a long one again soon. Anyway, it's been a pleasure as always with your service, Greg. Armstrong and you are one of the few people I trust on the internet. You have made my retirement so much more fun and financially happy!
Best Wishes, Trent Wrayford, Sidney