Creative Soccer Culture

Ronaldinho Talks Paris, Choosing PSG, & Connection With The Fans

One of the greatest players of all time, Brazilian retired footballer Ronaldinho Gaúcho played with Paris Saint-Germain from 2001 to 2003. His time at PSG was marked by his incredible skill and creativity, which quickly made him a fan favourite, while it also put the club on the global map. A PSG legend, we got to find out more about his connection with both the city and club.

Few people in the world of football can lay claim to being as entertaining to watch as Ronaldinho. The Brazilian was the captain of the good ship showboat; his flamboyancy and pure love of the game shining through his performances every time he played, so much so that he inspired a generation of ballers. Key amongst his back catalogue of clubs was PSG, where he his European adventure began. As a result, part of his heart will always be in Paris, and it’s for these reasons that GOAT understandably chose him as one of their faces for the brand’s Second Edition of its ‘People of Paris’ Campaign.

Through the campaign, we were able to fire some questions at Ronaldinho, and we got straight into his connection with the city and the PSG fans, and why he chose the club over so many other suitors.

When you think of Paris now, what memories does it bring back?

I have so many memories of Paris. It’s a wonderful city. I made great friends both on and off the pitch. Paris is unique. The club and city are special. It’s why so many former players come back and watch the team play. I was very happy when my friends Neymar and Messi came to play in Paris.

Do you remember why you chose PSG ahead of other clubs?

I remember that my family and I talked a lot and realized this was the best way for me to develop professionally outside of Brazil. Paris is a special city that has always welcomed Brazilians.

Which PSG game is your most memorable?

I could list many games…I remember a free-kick victory against Rennes. We won 2-1.

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What are your memories of the solo effort against Guingamp that won Goal of the Year?

It was a special goal. I was lucky enough to be able to lift it over the goalkeeper.

Tell us about taking the number 10. Was Jay-Jay Okocha supportive of you? What did that moment mean for you?

I’ve always loved playing with the number 10. Jay-Jay has always been a great companion and friend. He always welcomed and encouraged me.

What did you take from your time in Paris?

I learned so much in Paris, particularly the physical side of soccer. The French league was different from what I knew before. I was not used to such heavy contact, but these experiences helped me a lot and prepared me for Barcelona. As a player, you need to adapt and it takes time. My time in France was fundamental for the rest of my career.

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What did you make of the style in the locker room?

I’ve always loved fashion. In football, everybody has a sense of style that reflects their personality. Of course, Brazil is well known in both worlds.

What was your favorite neighborhood in the city?

Paris has many beautiful places, but my favorite neighborhood was Bougival. I was very happy there.

The fans still love you.

My relationship with the supporters is special and I have so many fond memories. Paris is very dear to me.

Describe PSG in three words.

The only words that come to my mind are joy, joy and joy. I was so happy playing here. Being back at the Parc brings all that back.

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Daniel Jones

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