Following his departure from Atletico Mineiro earlier this week, rumours have been swirling about Ronaldinho’s next possible destination.
Having been linked to MLS in the past, it’s no surprise therefore that a move to the USA has been listed among the potential landing spots, and there could well be some foundation to those reports.
According to ESPN Brazil, the 34-year-old is being recruited by former Barcelona teammate Thierry Henry for a potential move to the New York Red Bulls, the club possessing one remaining DP spot with which to make a splash.
Ronaldinho and Henry played two seasons together at Barca, from 2006 to 2008, and the Red Bulls captain has reportedly been in phone contact with the star playmaker about coming to the US club, his last call coming just before the cancellation of his Atletico contract.
The Former Ballon d’Or-winner is said to have further offers from China, UAE and South Korea, with MLS expansion side Orlando City, who have already signed Kaka this summer, also linked to his signature, although recent reports state that club ownership don’t see him as a fit within the franchise.
Having established himself as arguably the top player in world football in his prime at Barca, Ronaldinho’s career has been steadily declining since leaving the Catalan giants for AC Milan in 2008, opting to return to Brazil with Flamengo in 2011 over his former side Gremio, who he had first left for Europe to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2001.
Moving on to Atletico in 2012, after a contract dispute with the Rio de Janeiro-based outfit, the Selecao international’s physical skills may have drastically declined, but he still has the talent to muster his trademark moments of magic, possessing the undoubted profile to be a huge hit on the US domestic scene.
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With the Red Bulls needing another creative piece to help them push for the post-season in the second-half of 2014, Ronaldinho would be an obvious fit in head coach Mike Petke’s lineup, while serving as the possible successor to Henry, who is currently in the final season of his contract.
Whether the Arsenal legend’s powers of persuasion can convince the 97-times capped forward to join him in New York remains to be seen but, with his brother and agent said to be pushing for an MLS move, the pieces could well be falling into place.
Would Ronaldinho be a hit in MLS?