On this day: Ronaldinho signed for Barcelona

On this day in 2003, Ronaldinho signed for Barcelona and went on to become the best player in the world. Here's the story behind it.

Ronaldinho with his Ballon d'Or award in 2005.

Ronaldinho with his Ballon d'Or award in 2005.   -  GETTY IMAGES

In 2003, Ronaldinho signed for Barcelona and went on to propel the club from a point of crisis to champions of Spain and Europe during his time there.

But history could have turned out be so different. It is said that Barcelona had initially wanted to sign David Beckham from Manchester United to help boost the club's economic profile. But he instead signed for Real Madrid as part of the Galacticos.

It is also said that Real Madrid wanted to sign Paris Saint Germain's Ronaldinho but he would have had to wait another year to do so. Barcelona then outbid Manchester United to sign the Brazilian for €30m, a then club record fee.

One Madrid director later said that Ronaldinho was 'too ugly' to be a Galactico.

In his five-year spell at the club, he won two La Liga and a Champions League title and also won the Ballon d'Or.


During one of the El Clasicos in 20015, even Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeau applauded the brilliance of Ronaldinho after he brilliantly led Barcelona to a 3-0 win over their side.

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