Reuters, Friday, February 23, 2007 3:06 PM
After Barcelona's home loss to Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, pundits in Spain are blaming the Catalan club's poor form on Ronaldinho's weight. Photos taken of the Brazilian at the
end of the game would suggest that he's gained weight, especially when shown side-by-side with similar pictures from 2003 and 2004.
During a press conference on Friday, Ronnie's Barcelona
teammates were forced to answer questions about his weight. "As long as he plays well, I don't think there is a problem," striker Javier Saviola said. Fellow Argentine Lionel Messi turned the question
around on reporters. "When something goes wrong with the team, they always blame Ronaldinho and when he scores a couple of goals he is the best in the world," the 19-year-old star said. "He has scored
16 goals in the league this season so there is no reason to complain about his level of performance."
There's no question Ronaldinho struggled against Liverpool's defense on Wednesday. Premier
League clubs tend to play with more thrust than Spanish teams, which often means attackers have less time on the ball. Liverpool certainly didn't give Ronaldinho the kind of respect he gets in La
Liga. The Barcelona star, a player who relies on his quickness as much as his guile, better watch out: paunch is what ultimately knocked fellow Brazilian Ronaldo off the world's best player throne.
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