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Ronaldinho sends touching message to Lionel Messi in a letter to his younger self

Ronaldinho sends touching message to Lionel Messi in a letter to his younger self

Ronaldinho always knew that Lionel Messi was going to be special.

Brazilian great Ronaldinho has penned an emotional letter to his younger self, one which includes a touching message for a young Lionel Messi.

Ronaldinho announced his retirement from professional football in 2018, and whilst he played for a number of high-profile sides including Paris Saint Germain and AC Milan, the Brazilian is most fondly remembered for his time in Spain with Barcelona.

'Dinho was at the peak of his powers during his time with the Spanish giants, collecting his first and only Ballon d'Or award in 2005.

It was 12 months prior to collecting the award that a little-known 17-year-old Argentine by the name of Lionel Messi would make his debut alongside the Brazilian great, replacing Deco in the 82nd minute of a 1-0 win against local rivals Espanyol.

Few could've predicted the career that would lay ahead of Messi at the time, but Ronaldinho has looked back on his career retrospectively in an article published by theplayertribune, speaking of the mesmeric talents of the kid who goes by the name of Lionel Messi.

'At Barcelona, you'll hear about this kid on the youth team. He wears number 10 like you. He's small like you. He plays with the ball like you. You and your teammates will go watch him play for Barcelona's youth squad, and at that moment you'll know he's going to be more than a great footballer. That kid is different. His name is Leo Messi.'

Ronaldinho adds that once he arrives with the senior squad 'the Barcelona players will be talking about him like the Brazilian players were talking about you.'

He asks his younger self to deliver a single piece of advice to a youthful Lionel Messi, he writes:

"Play with happiness. Play free. Just play with the ball."

Few, if any, can claim to have blessed a football pitch with the happiness and graciousness of Lionel Messi. A player who would go on to rewrite the history books over and over again.

Ronaldinho knew from the minute that he saw the teenager on the training pitch, that he would go on to be one of the greats. But not even he could predict quite how good Messi would turn out to be.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, La Liga