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Nov 2, 2010

Ronaldinho denies post-match Milan criticism

AC Milan playmaker Ronaldinho has moved swiftly to deny newspaper reports claiming that he criticised his side's tactics in the aftermath of their 2-1 home defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

• AC Milan blog: Mixed Bag

Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Monday that Ronaldinho was overheard in a local bar questioning Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri's decision to play Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a lone striker.

But the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year dismissed the latest press reports about his supposed criticism of the team as a total fabrication.

"In general I don't like to speak after the games when I do play, and especially when I don't play," Ronaldinho told Sky Italia.

Asked if the newspaper allegations were true, he said: "No. There is nothing to all this. I have been here for three years and all the people at Milan know me.

"I don't allow myself to judge the coach's decisions and the condition of my team-mates. There is nothing true in what I read this [Monday] morning."

There has been regular speculation in recent months that Ronaldinho, who did not feature against Juventus as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury, is unhappy in Milan and is seeking a move to either Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy or a return to Brazil with Flamengo.

But after being rewarded for some impressive recent displays with a recall to the Brazil national team after an 18-month exile last week, Ronaldinho revealed his main focus is now on being fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, a match he is desperate to be involved in.

"I feel good and I have a lot of enthusiasm," Ronaldinho said. "We are going into an important game. I have the desire to play, help out and do my best. The last two training sessions are important for me and for the team.

"In the first game the two goals that we conceded at the beginning made life difficult for us. Now we must only think about doing what our coach asks of us to get the three points."

Meanwhile, Ronaldinho's brother and agent Roberto de Assis says he is not worried about his contract situation at AC Milan, with the playmaker's contract due to ecpire next summer.

"My brother has a contract with Milan until 2011 and there is time to negotiate,'' De Assis tols Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We have respect for the club (Milan) and we will choose the right time to renew, with calmness.'' I have always said that before we speak to another club I would speak to AC Milan."

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