Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Leave Ronaldinho alone, Barcelona coach requests

Leave Ronaldinho alone, Barcelona coach requests

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard leapt to the defense of his under-fire superstar Ronaldinho at a press conference on Saturday.
The 2004 and 2005 World Player of the Year has rarely displayed the form this season that won him the top accolade.
"Ronaldinho is a key player. Ronaldinho is also part of the team and we have to look at that (issue) together," said Rijkaard.
"If the team isn't good, it's not just because of one player. I don't understand what all the noise is about. How many goals has he set up? How many games has he decided?
"Leave us in peace to carry on working, I have confidence in everything he's done and I'm sure he will return to what he was," said the Dutch coach angrily, giving a rare display of emotion.
The Spanish sports daily As suggested on Saturday that the Catalan club was thinking of selling the Brazilian striker and repeated the long-standing rumors that Chelsea and AC Milan were interested in him.
Concern and controversy over Ronaldinho's mediocre form has been raging all season and the fire was fueled by comments by his brother Robert Assis, who also acts as his agent.
"There are no problems between Ronaldinho and Barcelona and everything is going well, but that doesn't mean that we will not take in consideration other offers. For example, we know there is interest from a team in the United States," Robert Assis told a Brazilian newspaper on Tuesday.
Barcelona moved quickly to try to staunch the talk of his immediate departure escalating.
"Ronaldinho has a contract here until 2010. We are happy with this and he is happy with this. We are not talking about any extension yet and we will not be for several seasons," said Barcelona vice-president Ferran Soriano on Thursday.
In Saturday's games in Spain's top division, Villarreal put the brakes on the Real Madrid revival with a 1-0 win, the only goal of the game coming from teenage striker Marcos Garcia after 67 minutes, while Atletico Madrid extended its unbeaten streak to six games after it had to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Racing Santander.
Lazio stays in contention
Lazio and Udinese remain in close contention for a place in the Champions league next season after both teams recorded away victories in Serie A on Saturday.
Lazio climbed to fourth place after an impressive 3-0 win at third-placed Palermo, while Udinese is tied with Catania for fifth place after beating Torino 3-2.


Updated : 2021-08-04 03:49 GMT+08:00