11 times Ronaldinho's excellence made us all go weak at the knees

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9. Overhead ovation (2006)

Most players would have just stooped to head Xavi's dinked cross. The ball was probably a little low to impart any great power, but hit the target and who knows, right?

Ronaldinho is not most players. Even a decade later, you can almost hear his brain rifling through possible solutions to this particular spatial challenge. The one he settled on was, of course, perfect.

10. Battle of the generations (2011)

He may not have pulled up trees during a stint at Milan, but Ronaldinho returned to Brazil with his star power undiminished. Not all of the headlines were positive (Flamengo coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo memorably felt compelled to install a CCTV system at a training camp to prevent the playmaker sneaking girls in), but there were more than enough gala displays to endear the veteran to Fla supporters and neutrals alike.

In 2011, he played a starring role in a topsy-turvy thriller against a Santos side inspired by young upstart Neymar. Ronaldinho's hat-trick sealed a 5-4 victory for Flamengo, but with the younger man's Puskás Award-winning goal snatching most of the plaudits, it felt like a baton was being passed from one great entertainer to another.

11. Turning to the bottle (2013)

Ronaldinho never was one to shy away from the bottle (sorry), but this goal for Atlético Mineiro in 2013 took things to another level. With play stopped, he wandered over for a sip of Rogério Ceni's water. But instead of returning to his position, he peeled into space behind the unsuspecting São Paulo back four, received a long throw-in and squared for Jô to score.

"It wasn't planned at all," he claimed after the match, but many – including most São Paulo fans, who kicked up quite a fuss – had their doubts. You can take the footballer off the street, but you can't take the street out of the footballer.

LONG READ Ronaldinho – How the godfather of flair changed football forever

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