It was less than two weeks ago that Ronaldinho hoisted the prestigious Rio Trophy and five months ago that 20,000 Flamengo fans busted down the gates at Flamengo's training stadium, joyously greeting him like he was some kind of horse-faced Santa Claus. And now, they're jeering him.
From the AP:
The latest setback came Wednesday when he couldn't help Flamengo get past Ceara in the quarterfinals of the Brazilian Cup. Flamengo relinquished a two-goal lead and was held to a 2-2 draw that eliminated the club from the competition. Flamengo had lost 2-1 in Rio de Janeiro in the first leg, when Ronaldinho played poorly and was booed by fans.
"The fans have every right not to be happy when the team doesn't win," Ronaldinho said then. "They are starting to jeer me now, but we have to find a way to rebound from that and start winning again." [...]
"It's part of football," Flamengo coach Venderlei Luxemburgo said. "If he doesn't play well and the result is not good, the fans won't be happy."
How soon they forget. Not only that Ronaldinho scored in five of his first seven matches and that the club won a trophy earlier this month, but that he's 31 years old and not the player he used to be. Sure, he still has some magic in him and he should still be one of the best players in the Brazilian league.
It sounds like Flamengo fans are under the impression that the Ronaldinho they signed was just thawed out from 2005, though. Which reminds me -- someone really should have frozen Ronaldinho in 2005. Why haven't we started freezing footballers at their peak yet?
Photo: Getty Images