PSG star Lionel Messi NEVER did what prime Ronaldinho did in 'those two years' at Barcelona
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Brazil legend Ronaldinho’s two prime years at Barcelona have been hailed as better than what Lionel Messi achieved during his time at the Camp Nou.
That is according to ex-Brazil international Djalminha, who claimed that Ronaldinho is the one player he respects the most ahead of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldinho snubbed the opportunity to move to Manchester United and signed for Barcelona in 2003 after leaving Paris Saint-Germain for a £21m transfer fee.
The 43-year-old Brazilian superstar made a sensational impact during his spell at Barcelona, with Ronaldinho widely praised for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
Ronaldinho lifted a La Liga title in the 2004-05 campaign with Barcelona before capturing Spain’s top-flight trophy and the Champions League in the 2005-06 season.
The 2002 World Cup winner went on to beat Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard in the race for the 2005 Ballon d’Or award.
Djalminha, who played alongside Ronaldinho on the international stage, insisted that Messi “never did better” than what the former Barcelona star did in “those two years” at the club.
“Of the younger generation, [Ronaldinho] is the one I respect the most,” he told Brazilian outlet UOL.
“More than everyone else. More than Messi, more than Cristiano. Take his two years at Barcelona and see if Messi did what he did.
“He won [the] Champions League, won Spanish league, won everything and put on a hell of a show and played like hell.
“Messi did that for 15 years, but in those two years, Messi never did better than that.”
Ronaldinho spent five seasons at Barcelona before he left the Camp Nou in 2008 to sign for AC Milan after then-manager Pep Guardiola deemed him surplus to his squad.
The Ballon d’Or winner’s brother later claimed that Manchester City manager Guardiola did not want Ronaldinho to leave the Spanish club.
“Guardiola phoned us to speak. He wanted my brother to stay, but he wanted to leave,” Roberto de Assis Moreira told UOL in 2018.
“I don’t think he needed to leave Barcelona and he could have stayed. But we had to go through a stormy presidential election and he preferred to leave.
“Sandro Rosell was the vice president but he became an opponent and they fought in elections.
“He was the leader of the team at the time and in the middle of a political problem and everybody used him in their own way.”