Ronaldinho does little to stake World Cup spot
Free kicks aside, Ronaldinho did little to stake his claim for a
spot in Brazil’s World Cup squad in what may have been his last
appearance on the international stage.
The 33-year-old Ronaldinho scored from a superb free kick for
the second time at the tournament of continental champions to help
rally Atletico Mineiro to a 3-2 win over Guangzhou Evergrande for
But his frustration nearly cost the Brazilian side as he was
red-carded for an ugly two-legged stamp on an opponent, moments
before Luan scored the winner on the stroke of stoppage time.
Ronaldinho, like his team, looked listless and played with
little intensity as the Copa Libertadores champions exited
disappointedly to become only the second South American champion to
fail to reach the final.
Moroccan club Raja Casablanca upset Atletico 3-1 in the
semifinals but ultimately came up short against Bayern Munich in
Saturday’s final, losing 2-0.
The frustration seemed to boil over in the 88th minute as
Ronaldinho poorly reacted to substitute Zhao Xuri’s own stamp on
him, and he lashed out for the second time in the match after also
swiping a Guangzhou defender with his elbows.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who cast Ronaldinho out of Barcelona
when taking charge in 2008, had hoped for his club to play the
former Barcelona star.
”I saw him in Barcelona like a spectator. But he lost and Raja
Casablanca deserved to play this title,” Guardiola said. ”I would
have liked to have played against him because I like to play
against the best teams in the world.”
Ronaldinho, whose contract is up at Atletico, says he is
uncertain if he will renew with the club.