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Why Pep Did Not Want Ronaldinho

FC Barcelona legend Ronaldinho is widely considered to be one of the world's greatest footballers ever, but here is why he did not work with Pep Guardiola at the Camp Nou. 

Reports: Ronaldinho Snubs Incredible EPL Offer

Now 35 years old, the Brazilian is still treated with love and affection from fans everywhere he goes, but did he really fulfil his true potential?

Years on from his best days, Ronaldinho is still spoken about as one of the world's best players to grace the game, but the former FIFA World Cup winner could have a few career regrets.  

He left Barca in 2008 when Guardiola took charge of the club, a decision that could not have been an easy one for the Spanish boss.

Despite his heroics for the Catalan club in 2004 and 2005, the same years he won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, Ronaldinho had sadly fallen from grace, and was struggling to perform for Barca as well as he had previously.

Guardiola was said to be concerned with the player's partying ways and lack of discipline, and decided to sell him before even taking a training session with him.

As the story goes in Guillem Balague's book on the Spaniard, Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning: "Having decided to get rid of Ronaldinho, Pep now had to tell the Brazilian face to face. When Guardiola and Ronaldinho met, the conversation was short and swift.

"Guardiola told him that it wasn’t an easy decision to make as he believed there was still an extraordinarily player under the puppy fat. But he also felt that his recuperation was not possible at Barcelona and that he would have to return to form somewhere else."

Some critics have suggested Brazil's underwhelming displays at the 2006 World Cup was the start of Ronaldinho's decline – he failed to register a goal or assist in the five games he played in that tournament.

In his final season at Barca, Ronaldinho played just 26 games in the whole campaign, and reports back then claimed his absence was not solely down to injuries.

The star had been spotted in several nightclubs during the season, and after 198 matches for the Catalan club, AC Milan beckoned next.

Despite showing glimpses of his former self, Ronaldinho was not able to have the same impact in Italy as he had had during his prime at Barca, and returned to Brazil two and a half seasons later.

He had spells at Flamengo and Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, then went to Queretaro in Mexico, which was followed by his failed move to Fluminense last year.

Read: Martial Reveals Two Brazilian Icons Who Inspired Him

Club presidents have since admitted the Brazilian is now nothing more than a marketing tool, a sad designation for a player who will never be forgotten for what he achieved at Barca during a time when rivals Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane in midfield and Raul Gonzalez up front, were at their best.

Do you think Ronaldinho regrets not working with Guardiola? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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