"You are smiling because football is fun. Why would you be serious? Your goal is to spread joy. I'll say it again - creativity over calculation." - Ronaldinho once said in a letter to his younger self.
One of the greatest Brazilian footballers in history announced his retirement earlier this week and the footballing world paid tribute to a man who made you smile.
Ronaldinho really was a pleasure to watch. Nobody will be able to replicate what he did at the peak of his powers. He was an unstoppable force that defenders feared and teammates loved.
Ronaldinho reveals his greatest Champions League XI:
The man himself has now posted a message to confirm his retirement and it's an emotional read.
Thank you, my God, for this life you gave me, family, friends and my first profession. After almost three decades dedicated to football, I say goodbye to my biggest dream, dream come true.
I did what I most loved professionally for 20 years, and 10 as a basic training. I lived intensely this dream of children, every moment, trips, victories, defeats, the review, national anthem, the walk in the tunnel, dressing room, field entrance, the soccer shoes I used, the good and bad balls, tributes I won, the stars that I played, those that admired and played and those that only played in the play, but I admire until today! Anyway everything was amazing.
My father and my family supported me a lot to get here, it was a team effort. We arrived at the end of the first stage with a beautiful story to tell.
You know me, and you are well aware that I am shy and I do not have the habit of talking a lot, but I have to say thank you from my heart, from a clean soul, for I have done what I love with the help of all, coaches, whole committees, leaders, cheer for and against, the bus driver, the wardrobe, the gandula, the referee and the press. Thank you, we built this story together, without you nothing would be possible.
In the month of March we will make an announcement of how it will be farewell and the next steps. For now, here's my thank you.. That famous phrase "gracias vieja" for being my source of inspiration for so long and companions of many victories. Thank you all for the messages and affection. A strong hug, I was very happy making this sport my life and profession.
Thank you for the memories, Ronaldinho. You really are a true great of the game.