PSG project excites Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho believes Paris Saint-Germain are becoming "more and more like a dream team" with only one major star missing: himself.
Ronaldinho, 33, made PSG his first European port of call in 2001, and though he may not have always convinced then-coach Luis Fernandez he was worth a regular starting role, his flashes of brilliance live long in the memory at the Parc des Princes.
The Brazilian left the French capital in 2003 for Barcelona, who face PSG in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday, and though he collected a raft of silverware in Catalonia, his maiden European adventure left its mark too.
"Paris is in my heart, because it's the first team I played for in Europe. Now, PSG are one of the strongest teams in the world. There are a lot of great players and many of my Brazilian friends playing there," the two-time World Player of the Year told French TV station TF1. "It's fantastic to see PSG like that. It's starting to become like a dream team. There's only me missing!"
After his time at Barcelona petered out and a two-and-a-half-year spell at AC Milan brought few glorious moments, many thought Ronaldinho's return to his native country in 2011 would see his career wind down. However, after a brief and tempestuous stay at Flamengo, the ex-Gremio man has enjoyed a new lease of life at Atletico Mineiro, whom he guided into the last-16 of the Copa Libertadores recently.
"I'd like to win the Brazilian league and the Copa Libertadores, which I didn't win before I went to Europe. That's why I came back here," he said, laughing off suggestions he should be considering retirement. "Maybe in ten years, or when I'm 40. I'm still young in my head."
His performances have earned him a recall to the Brazil squad, and he was handed the captain's armband by coach Luis Felipe Scolari for this weekend's 4-0 triumph of a domestic-based line-up win over Bolivia in a friendly.
"I hope to stay in the Selecao and play at the World Cup," he said, adding he felt Scolari's men would silence their critics at next year's finals. "There are a lot of young players, a lot of great players. I think those who think we won't have a great World Cup are going to be surprised."