Ronaldinho's generational talent was the inspiration for a multitude of exciting young stars of today MAURICIO LIMA / Getty Images
The blurring of the feet, the silly smile and the surfer's thumb. Ronaldinho, with his carefree, flair-based approach to beautiful play, has been one of the defining football figures since the turn of the century.
His talent can be valued by generations in the past and present. As the star of the first video to be viewed 1 million times on YouTube, Ronaldinho became the inspiration for a new generation of players.
Instead of being forced to gratefully track down the rare cases of live football that have been added to the TV schedule, these modern players grew up with Ronaldinho's stunning flicks and tricks just a click away. This leads to an influx of daring, captivating young talents that are coming to the fore in the European game.
? Gaetano Castrovilli with the ball on a string! pic.twitter.com/i7TJBzXOns
– Premier Sports? (@PremierSportsTV) January 18, 2020
The 23-year-old Fiorentina midfielder was one of the breakout stars in Serie A. this season, Castrovilli's sluggish, ballistic interweaving between opponents was often attributed to his year of classical dance studies, but it was the Brazilian who was his inspiration .
The Italian international appeared in a Ronaldinho jersey on his first day of training with Bari's youth team. It's no wonder that Castrovilli averaged more dribbles than any other Serie A midfielder.
Since August 2017, no Premier League player has made more nutmegs than Dele Allis 21 | ANP Sport / Getty Images
The Tottenham player was one of many who spent hours putting online compilations of Ronaldinho's skills, but it was his behavior on the pitch that caught Alli's attention.
He explained: "(I liked) the way he liked to play, he always looked like he was having fun. And that's how I wanted to play … I wanted to do what made me happy and you could see that with Ronaldinho. In everything he did it looked like he was enjoying it, "Goal quotes.
In a twist of events that must have been bizarre for the Spurs midfielder, Ronaldinho showed that he was enthusiastic about the praise and even compared some of Alli's goals with those from his own back catalog.
How about a goal! ?
Matheus Cunha really has a bit of magic in his feet ✨
Hertha Berlin is on a … #BundesligaIsBack pic.twitter.com/0iueV9LwPn
– Football on BT Sport? (@btsportfootball) May 16, 2020
A well-known story of origin in the myth of Ronaldinho was how he refined his skills in Brazilian futsal dishes. His compatriot Matheus Cunha shared this early development and even cited it as his favorite sport to this day.
Ronaldinho is not only an idol, but can also be seen as a friend by the powerful Cunha, who followed his Brazilian compatriot with a penchant for the spectacular. In addition to his solo performance against Hoffenheim earlier this month, Cunha made the shortlist for the Puskás Award 2019 – an annual award for the "most beautiful" goal.
This pass from Julian Brandt …
On repeat. #BundesligaIsBack pic.twitter.com/vZq8aZMW0I
– Football on BT Sport? (@btsportfootball) May 16, 2020
Cunha's Bundesliga rival Julian Brandt may not have the same personal relationship with Brazilian legend, but Borussia Dortmund's brilliant midfielder has also described Ronaldinho as inspiration.
While the 24-year-old quickly said: "I am an independent character," the German playmaker recognized the influence of Ronaldinho, "because he always showed how much fun football can be".
Bruno Fernandes was undefeated in his first nine games for Manchester United before the break, James Williamson – AMA / Getty Images
Manchester United's catalyst for a much-needed upturn in form has already won the hearts of the Reds by floating menacingly between lines and injuring opponents with precise passes.
Fernandes may pierce Old Trafford's faithful for years to come, but it was Ronaldinho who, as a young boy, aroused his imagination: "To me, he is the player with the ability to take you and put you in front of the TV, and you will stay for hours. for hours! "
Wonderful? Magical? Jadon Sancho?
Does it grow in confidence with every game? pic.twitter.com/ixACh3YTlk
– Football on BT Sport? (@btsportfootball) December 1, 2018
During his days in the classroom – which was not so long ago given the heights he had already reached – Sancho was not a disturbing presence, but football, and in particular a certain Brazilian, somehow found their way into mathematics on Monday morning.
Sancho's youth team coach at Watford Louis Lancaster told the BBC: "I remember one of his teachers saying: & # 39; Jadon, can you get off YouTube and continue your work? I look at his computer and he has Ronaldinho on the screen She turns around, I look back – Ronaldinho is back on the screen. "
The 20-year-old interrupts his seemingly endless stream of gates and helps with a touch of Brazilian flair, which creates a flood of compilations of his own skills to distract today's schoolchildren.
Raheem Sterling remembers Ronaldinho's genius?
Who was your childhood hero? #UCL pic.twitter.com/MpSopwM4tP
– UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 20, 2017
Ironically, under the direction of the man who ended Ronaldinho’s career in Barcelona, Sterling has become one of the deadliest strikers in Europe.
Still, Sterling is another member of the English setup that sifted through the Brazilian’s highlights online and even claimed, "If you check my story on YouTube, I’ve probably seen every single clip of his career as a player."
Lieke Martens helped Barcelona to its first Spanish top title in five years this season, Soccrates Images / Getty Images
The player of the tournament and later winner of the 2017 European Women's Championship turned to Ronaldinho as her football idol because in the Players' Tribune she said, "I had no female heroes."
In 2017 Martens fulfilled her childhood dream of playing for the team of her idol Barcelona.
But, as she eloquently outlines in her Players' Tribune article, her real achievement is that instead of Ronaldinho, she – and a host of other women – can be the inspiration for the next generation of players.