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Ronaldinho: the People's Choice

The New York Times has a profile on Ronaldinho, Barcelona's Brazilian star and the man many still consider to be the best player in the world despite his third-place finish at the 2006 FIFA awards. He is a one-man endorsement machine, appearing in billboards throughout Barcelona and commercials around the world for his sponsors, Nike, Pepsi and Lenovo, as well as a handful of Brazilian companies. For Nike, the Brazilian has become the first soccer player to be given his own shoe line. His face also graces the covers of magazines, newspapers and even video games.
 
Indeed, there's something about Ronaldinho. It's certainly not good looks, though he definitely has a distinctive face, punctuated by that huge, infectious smile. "I just think that I am lucky to be doing what I most like to do in life - playing football," a smiling Ronaldinho told the New York Times. "This is something I am truly happy to be doing. I think I have a happy personality, and I hope to be this way for many, many years. It is not hard for me to stay enthusiastic."

In the article, two-time World Player of the Year admits that it's been far from easy, particularly this season. He talks about the rocky road that's been Barcelona's title defense this year, as well as the huge disappointment of Brazil's ineffective World Cup last year. Ronaldinho is often criticized for not being as effective for Brazil as he is with Barcelona.

Read the whole story at New York Times »

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