Ronaldinho won the 2002 World Cup on a deep squad led by fat Ronaldo and to a lesser extent Rivaldo when he was still an up and coming youngin and playing for PSG, who weren't nearly as big of a club as they are today. He didn't exactly dominate throughout the tournament, with the highlight being that borderline lucky goal versus England.
When the time came for him to be the leader of the Brazil squad in the 2006 World Cup, he failed miserably. He was at the top of his game. Fresh off the Champions League win and the winner of the latest Ballon d'Or. Widely recognized as the best player in the world. Yet in the quarter finals, he was taught a lesson by this man:
I remember the hype surrounding Ronaldinho and the Brazil 2006 squad very well. They were the clear cut favorites with the expectation that Ronaldinho would dominate the tournament. But it turned out to be one of the most disappointing performances ever. He had 0 goals and 1 assist in the tournament. Every bit as disappointing as Messi's and Cristiano's World Cups. And regarding Cristiano, well he plays for a country that never did jack **** historically in World Cups. Their best result was a semi final in 1966, and they also made the 2006 semi final with Cristiano on the team. Anyway, after the 2006 World Cup, you might as well have printed a photo of Ronaldinho on a milk carton because he was never seen again. Other than short youtube video highlights and "he still got it" comments (as if he was in his late 30s and not his late 20s) when he played for all those Brazilian clubs and had some highlight.
Dang Ronaldo wasn't fat yet in 2002 cut him a break Dinho did disappoint in 06 though, and by that time Ronaldo was starting to plump up. I can definitely say I'm one who wished Ronaldinho could have maintained his form or at least not fallen so drastically. The reports of partying and such definitely make me feel like he just stopped caring, but only the player can ever really know. Nonetheless I am grateful I got to see him play during his peak for both club and country. Hoping he can find a club to stick with in the later stages of his career or better yet just come to MLS for the money.