Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ronaldinho: Getting His Mojo Back

Over a year ago in a column for Soccer Times, I recall noting that the great players like Ronaldinho were starting to burn out due to a non-stop season of club, European, and international matches - not to mention the promotional tours that reduce any off time to recharge. In Ronnie's case, we watched him degrade over time until it reached a point where some said he had "fallen out of love with football."

This summer, he apprears to be getting his mojo (and fitness) back under the supervision of Brazilian national team fitness coach Paulo Paixao. This week, Paixao spoke about the superstar who is currently working to get ready to play in the Olympics - something his club (Barcelona) is not happy about.

"He is very happy and motivated." "He has rediscovered his joy, and is once again the Ronaldinho we all knew."

"He has been very cooperative in the work we are doing to improve his physical form, and take him back to his best."

Ronaldinho is aiming to represent Brazil in the Olympics (as an overage player), motivated it seems to prove something to both Barcelona and Brazil boss Dunga who has left him off the national team roster. If Ronnie plays in the Olympics, it means he'll miss club's Champions League qualifiers at a time when Lionel Messi will also be unavailable to the Catalan side.

All the while, speculation continues about whether Ronaldihno will transfer to AC Milan, Manchester City, or remain at Barcelona. Regarless, a Brazil side led by a healthy and motivated Ronaldihno will be sure to make the Olympic soccer tournament more enjoyable for fans, but less so for opposing teams.

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