Ronaldinho’s Heartfelt Letter To His Younger Self Reveals His Advice To Lionel Messi
In a moving and heartfelt article for The Players’ Tribune entitled “Letter to My Younger Self”, Ronaldinho has recounted the remarkable stages of his globetrotting career; from the death of his father as an eight-year-old to the highs of representing the Brazilian national team and winning the Ballon d’Or with Barcelona.
While the accolades, achievements and moments are well-remembered by the playmaker, what Ronaldinho is most pleased with is staying true to the style hailed by his father: to play with creativity, joy and freedom.
Consequently, Ronaldinho is proud to have passed this lesson on to who he now sees as the embodiment of the Barcelona style, Lionel Messi. Ronaldinho had this to say of his first interaction with the teenage Messi:
“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. The kid is different. His name is Leo Messi.
"You’ll tell the coaches to bring him up to play with you on the senior side. When he arrives, the Barcelona players will be talking about him like the Brazilian players were talking about you.
"I want you to give him one piece of advice.
"Tell him, ‘Play with happiness. Play free. Just play with the ball.’
"Even when you are gone, the free style will live on in Barcelona through Messi.”
Ronaldinho's pass for the first goal in the career of Messi! pic.twitter.com/vLeclzao0s
— Football Stuff (@FootbalIStuff) January 11, 2017