Ronaldinho insists Pep Guardiola wanted him to stay at Barcelona but he “had already taken the decision to seek new challenges”
Ronaldinho insists Pep Guardiola had wanted him to stay at Barcelona.
When Guardiola was appointed Barça manager, in 2008, he announced Ronaldinho, as well as Deco and Samuel Eto’o, was not part of his plans.
The Brazilian subsequently joined Milan for a fee rising to €24.15 million, while Deco was signed by Chelsea. Eto’o stayed.
Ronaldinho claims, however, that he chose to leave and was not forced out.
“We didn’t even work together but he was always my friend, because I’m a very good friend of his brother Pere,” he told Globo’s ‘Bem Amigos’ programme, as reported by Football Espana.
“At the time Pep wanted me to stay but I had already taken the decision to seek new challenges.”
Ronaldinho was signed by Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain in 2004 for €30 million. He won La Liga twice, the Supercopa de España twice and the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League.
The 33 year-old, who has been capped 97 times by Brazil, was also named FIFA World Player of the Year twice and won the Ballon d’Or during his time at the club.
After three seasons at Milan, Ronaldinho left to join Flamengo in January 2011, before signing with current employees Atlético Mineiro in June 2012. He has won the Copa Libertadores and Campeonato Mineiro with the Belo Horizonte-based side.