Sun06242018

LAST_UPDATESun, 24 Jun 2018 11am

Barcelona Legend Ronaldinho Reflects On 'Moments Of Honour' Vs Chelsea And Real Madrid

Whilst there have been many iconic moments in the Champions League meetings between Barcelona and Chelsea the greatest is surely Ronaldinho’s impudent punt in a 4-2 defeat for the Catalan giants 13 years ago.

With half the Chelsea side closing in on him as he collected the ball just inside the D, Ronaldinho stuttered on the spot before poking a right-footed shot through the slenderest of gaps and past Petr Cech.

Even in a career defined by the unexpected it is a stand-out moment on Ronaldinho’s highlights reel, where it would find itself jostling for prominence with the brilliant two goal display in a 3-0 Barcelona win away to Real Madrid that earned him a rare honour for a visitor to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked to compare the strike at Stamford Bridge with the standing ovation he received from the Real Madrid fans Ronaldinho was in no doubt which moment was sweeter.

“Those two moments are part of my history that I carry with much honour,” he told Standard Sport.

“But to be clapped by the fans of Real Madrid was a very, very touching moment.”

Over six meetings in 20 months from February 2005 Barcelona and Chelsea established themselves as perhaps the great European rivals of their era, the Blues winning in the round of 16 during the 2004-05 season before Barca got their revenge a year later.

Ronaldinho would go on to get his hands on the Champions League trophy at the end of that season, beating Arsenal 2-1 in the final. It is the rivalry with Chelsea, though, that retains a special place in the Brazilian icon’s heart.

“It’s very hard to say which [English opponent] was the toughest because during my time there were amazing players at all these clubs,” he said.

“But Chelsea happened to cross our path many times and I have many strong memories of meeting them.”

-Evening Standard