Ronaldinho finally finds his form for Flamengo

Ronaldinho finally found his form for Flamengo (Alexandre Loureiro - VIPCOMM)

After a lacklustre couple of months with goals mainly coming from penalties and free kicks, Ronaldinho finally put on a show for Flamengo as they brushed past Atlético Mineiro 4-1 on Saturday night in the Serie A. Flamengo have lost only once this year (at home to Ceará in the Brazilian Cup) and have won both Rio State Cups. Despite the impressive almost unbeaten record, they have struggled to really get going and Ronaldinho has looked far from his best form. Prior to Saturday’s match, they had won only one of their five Serie A league games (drawing four).

Indeed, Flamengo fans have started to lose their patience with their star player and he was booed during the first half of Saturday’s match. Things got worse for him and Flamengo when Atlético took the lead early in the second half. Something happened though and Ronaldinho finally found his form. He equalized the match with a right footed half-volley from the edge of the area on 66 minutes. And from there on we saw some of the old magic flow through his boots: back-heels, dribbles, step-overs and assists. Flamengo ran out 4-1 winners with one from the in-form Thiago Neves and two from the out-of-form Deivid. That result and second half performance will give Flamengo and their star man some breathing space but the jury is still out.

Flamengo move up to 7th in the table with 10 points.

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3 thoughts on “Ronaldinho finally finds his form for Flamengo

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Ronaldinho has only scored one FK (vs. Boavista in the Carioca and now vs America-MG) and once from the spot (his first goal, also vs Boavista). He actually has scored the majority of his goals with the ball in play.

    He has been criticized mostly for disappearing in games and showing a poor work rate. He wasn’t making that decisive pass and being more of a participant in the game.

    • Thanks Andrew.

      Well, he also scored a pen against Bangu in the Carioca back in March which took his tally to five (two pens, a free kick and two from open play). Then he went two months (13 games) without scoring at all before finding the net against Avaí­ in the Serie A. And yes, he went missing in many games and his work rate was poor. Considering the opposition (weak teams in the Carioca and Brazilian Cup) you’d expect a lot more from the best paid player in Brazil and former world player of the year! Another criticism is that he hasn’t scored against any of the other big clubs in Rio and he came in for a lot of stick after the 0-0 draw against Botafogo in June.

      Since the Avaí­ game he has hit the net more often and most of those goals have been from open play you are right. But even in his prime he was never a prolific goal scorer. The biggest disappointment for me has been his inability to take control of games, produce a moment of brilliance, look threatening. I don’t think Vanderlei Luxemburgo has helped by playing him out of position as a central striker, sometimes all on his own.

      Clearly you follow Brazilian football pretty closely. What do you think – any chance of him getting called up by Mano Menezes if he can keep up the good form he’s shown over the last few games?

  2. I’m actually a Flamengo fan. I did forget about the Bangu PK goal. But other than what we have mentioned, he didn’t score the majority of his goals from a set piece.

    I do agree that Luxemburgo has frustrated many fans by playing him as a central striker. Ronaldinho does not strive in a role in which he has his back turned to goal. The times where you saw him flash signs of his old days were when he was able to come up deep within the midfield with the ball at his feet. The link between the defense and midfield also has been poor. Sometimes Ronaldinho has to come too deep to touch the ball. Willians is an excellent ball winner, but he has a deficiency passing the ball. Renato Abreu has been mediocre in every aspect of the game, bar set pieces.

    I wouldn’t necessarily call his good form “good.” It’s better than what he has demonstrated and is of an acceptable level. I think it would be fair to say that most are still expecting more from him. If he is able to get better throughout the course of the season, Menezes might consider him. The National Team do not have a good alternative on the bench for the likes of Neymar or Robinho, in my opinion.

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