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The greatest footballer on the planet right now.
Ronaldo de Assís Moreira (born 21 March 1980 in Porto Alegre) is a Brazilian footballer, also known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho (due to him being from the Rio Grande do Sul state of Brazil), or simply and most commonly Ronaldinho. He became a naturalized Spanish citizen in January 2007.
Ronaldinho's career began in the youth team at Porto Alegre club Grêmio, under head coach Celso Roth, who only played him due to immense pressure from the Gremio supporters. His first senior appearance came in the 1998 Libertadores Cup, and his penchant for goalscoring was quickly displayed, his career soon generating interest due to his phenomenal ball control and ability to score. This was followed by his introduction into the Brazilian national team in 1999.
Ronaldinho (IPA - [χonawˈdʒĩɲu]), meaning "little Ronaldo", is better known in Brazil by the nickname Ronaldinho Gaúcho, in order to distinguish him from Ronaldo (already called Ronaldinho in Brazil). However, upon Ronaldo's move to Europe, he began to be known simply as 'Ronaldo', thereby allowing Ronaldinho to drop Gaúcho and remain simply as 'Ronaldinho'.
Among his many achievements and accolades, Ronaldinho has been awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice (2004, 2005), as well as the European Footballer of the Year award and the FIFPro World Player of the Year award twice (2005, 2006).He has downplayed suggestions that he is the best footballer in the world, telling FourFourTwo magazine, "I don't even feel I'm the best at Barça."
In June 2005, Rosell resigned from the Barcelona administration following a bust-up with Joan Laporta, and it was feared that his resignation would spell the end for Ronaldinho and Barcelona's association as well. With Ronaldinho's contract running only into 2008, he was offered a contract until 2014 that would net him £85 million over those 9 years, which he rejected. Later that year in September, he signed a two-year extension of his original contract on with FC Barcelona. The new contract contains a minimum fee release clause that allows him to leave should a club make an offer to Barcelona of at least £85 million for him.
Currently, he plays for FC Barcelona with a contract ending in 2010.
He has surpassed David Beckham as the most marketable player in the world, generating $57.8m (£30.8m) annually, though still trails Beckham in estimated yearly income.