Ronaldinho’s top team-mates XI includes Messi, Xavi and Iniesta after Barcelona legend’s glory days at Nou Camp – The Sun

THINGS haven't quite gone right for Ronaldinho in recent months having spent time in prison for allegedly using a fake passport to enter Paraguay.

After 32 days in jail, the former Brazil legend, 40, is now under house arrest at a hotel in capital city, Asuncion.

But despite his off-pitch indiscretions – including his reputation for being a total party-boy as a player – Ronaldinho was a genius on it.

The former Barcelona star won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil as well as sealing two La Liga crowns and even a Serie A title in his glittering career.

Ronaldinho even has the honour of being one of just THREE players to ever receive a standing ovation from the Nou Camp crowd, joining Diego Maradona and Andres Iniesta.

The former forward enjoyed his best years at Barca, so it's little wonder his best XI of team-mates – based on appearances made together – ALL hail from the Spanish giants.

Check out who makes the team…

GK – Victor Valdes

A NEAR ever-present during Ronaldinho's five years at the club, Valdez was always going to start between the sticks in the Brazilian's top team-mate XI.

The Spanish stopper played 189 times alongside him, helping secure two La Liga crowns and even the Champions League trophy in 2005-06.

RB – Gianluca Zambrotta

THE Italian defender also spent five years with Ronaldinho – but not all at Barcelona.

Zambrotta played alongside the Brazilian for his final two seasons at Barca, before they both moved on to AC Milan in 2008 – where they played together for a further three years – tallying 119 games alongside one another.

CB – Carles Puyol

A REAL Barcelona icon, Puyol was Ronaldinho's captain during his time in Spain.

The pair played together 182 times, while pulling in a hoard of silverware.

CB – Rafa Marquez

MEXICAN stalwart Marquez joined Barcelona in the same summer as Ronaldinho – both moving from Ligue 1 teams.

And they would go on to play together 142 times before the Brazilian was shipped off to Milan.

LB – Giovanni van Bronckhorst

ANOTHER defender to join Barcelona at the same time as Ronaldinho, Van Bronckhorst was already a big name from his days at Arsenal.

But he transformed his game to another level, often playing down the same flank as Ronaldinho,  as the pair played together 129 times.

CM – Xavi

NOW a true Barcelona idol, Xavi was only just emerging as a true superstar during the Ronaldinho years.

The Spanish star played alongside him 172 times.

CM – Andres Iniesta

JUST a teenager when Ronaldinho arrived at the Nou Camp, Iniesta was already a first-team star despite his age.

The Spain legend played 154 times with Ronaldinho as they formed a lethal partnership in attack.

CM – Deco

THE Portuguese star could have been an international team-mate, as well as club pal, of Ronaldinho having been born in Brazil.

But instead they were limited to 132 games alongside one another, winning two La Liga crowns and the Champions League together following Deco's move from Jose Mourinho's Porto.


RW – Lionel Messi

THIS man needs no introduction – and would quickly go on to take over from Ronaldinho as Barcelona's main man.

The pair enjoyed a great friendship, with the Brazilian calling his Argentine pal his "little brother".

Unfortunately for fans, Messi was too young to enjoy prime Ronaldinho and they only managed 80 games together.

ST – Samuel Eto'o

ARGUABLY the best striker in the world when Ronaldinho was at Barcelona, Eto'o scored 130 times for the Spaniards.

Eto'o played 111 times alongside Ronaldinho as they starred in an outrageously talented attack.

LW – Ludovic Giuly

THE French star was rarely a first-team starter during the days of Ronaldinho and Messi – but he was a real talent in his own rights.

He would often come off the bench to devastating effect and even managed 98 matches alongside Ronaldinho in just three years at the Nou Camp.

Source: Read Full Article