Former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho is hopeful of making the Brazilian squad for the 2014 World Cup, and looks forward to playing infront of his nation’s fans.
“There is no feeling greater than playing the World Cup at your own home and in front of your own fans and I don't want to miss that,” says the 2002 World Cup winner in a press conference in Pune, where he came to launch a cartoon movie based on him, R-10.
“I am confident of myself and I still have great passion for football and for Brazil which has driven me to try and get back into the team I love so much. I want to be a part of the World Cup. It will be the biggest moment in my life and for many in Brazil,” he added.
The former AC Milan player though, realizes he will have to be at the top of his game to force his way into Luis Felipe Scolari’s plans.
Having made an impressive start for his club Atletico Mineiro, Ronaldinho hopes to carry on in the same vein and make the cut for the 2014 World Cup. He stated, “I want to reclaim my old form and I know that I can contribute to the team. It is my top priority to work on my form and fitness and make sure I am ready if and when the call comes,”
The 2004 and 2005 World FIFA Player of the Year also thinks that his experience at the top level would help Brazil’s new generation of talented footballers, for whom the 2014 World Cup would be a great chance to prove their mettle. He mentioned, “The World Cup will be a great platform for talented players like Neymar and Leandro Damiao to get themselves known just like how I did back in 2002 and I will offer all my experience to help them.”
Ronaldinho with Venkatesh Rao of Venky's
Ronaldinho also felt it would be unfair to call either the Spanish “tiki-taka” style or the free-flowing attacking football played by the Brazilians as better, and felt any idea that takes football forward is good.
“Football is about joy. It’s about dribbling. I favour every idea that makes the game beautiful. Every good idea has to last. The Brazilian and Spanish styles are beautiful and they will last because they are efficient.”
He also refused to entertain any comparisons between himself and Lionel Messi, who succeeded him as Barcelona’s attacking talisman, and called him a great friend.
“My time at Barcelona was very special and the way Messi is currently carrying the team is incredible. I believe that he will go onto achieve greater things, but let me add that I gave his the assist for his first ever goal,” beamed Ronaldinho when recollecting his glory days at the Camp Nou.
“Messi is a great footballer and a very good friend of mine. It’s a great feeling to be associated with his history,” he concluded.
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