[VIDEO] Emotional Ronaldinho leads Atlético to stunning win
There is no doubting it. When Ronaldinho is on-form and inspired, there are still few who can raise their game to a fraction of his level.
Despite the effects of the ageing process and his love of a party lifestyle, Ronaldinho's majesty on a football pitch has not deserted him - even if it is only on rare occasions that he chooses fit to bestow us with the honour of witnessing his feats.
On Saturday, Ronaldinho was in one of those moods. Anyone who witnessed his 1-on-1 duel with Neymar as Santos played Flamengo last summer will know what he is still capable of and this time, it was Figueirense who bore the brunt as the former Barcelona star struck a magnificent hat-trick.
The ageing playmaker was visibly more motivated than he has become accustomed to showing. Indeed, with the scoring of each goal there was a glance to the heavens as his eyes welled up with tears. This was a superstar bearing his soul and unleashing his emotions in front of thousands following the death of his step-father Vanderlei on Friday.
The loss inspired Ronnie to his best performance of the season, a performance that once more suggested all was not lost for the buck-toothed playmaker at the highest levels - if only it could be repeated week-after-week.
Atlético remain in second place in the Brasileirão, six points behind Fluminense after the Tricolor's 1-0 victory over rivals Botafogo.