Brazilian great Ronaldinho has penned a heartfelt note to his younger self and it has an emotional message for Argentine superstar Lionel Messi.
Post his retirement from football in 2018, Ronaldinho collaborated with ‘The Player Tribune’ to create a beautiful piece which aptly starts with: “Dear eight-year-old Ronaldinho…”
Messi made his debut at the young age of 16 alongside Dinho, replacing Deco in the 82nd minute of a 1-0 win against local rivals Espanyol. At that time, Dinho was at the height of his abilities while playing for the Spanish powerhouses, winning the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 2005.
Not many could have guessed the career that awaited Messi at the time, but Ronaldinho has reflected on his career in retrospect in an article published by theplayertribune, remarking on the mesmerising abilities of the young man who goes by the name of Lionel Messi.
Ronaldinho said this about Lionel Messi.
In a letter to his younger self. pic.twitter.com/EEpkyBCdGL
— Players’ Tribune Football (@TPTFootball) February 7, 2023
‘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.”
Ronaldinho is a true Messi fan, and he even expressed his ‘extreme happiness’ after the great player won the World Cup in Qatar, solidifying his place as the ‘GOAT.’
“He was missing it,” Ronaldinho said. “The truth is that nobody imagined him outside of Barca, but things happen in football. Now he must continue.”