Ronaldinho is in town: 5 things about the samba football star

Brazilian football star Ronaldinho is in Singapore to launch his academy jointly with S-League club Tampines Rovers.
Brazilian football star Ronaldinho is in Singapore to launch his academy jointly with S-League club Tampines Rovers. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Brazilian football star Ronaldinho, 35, is in town to launch his academy jointly with S-League club Tampines Rovers. The Straits Times look at five things to know about the two-time Fifa World Player of the Year.

1. The buck-toothed forward has not just made waves over with his dazzling football on the pitch, but on the airwaves as well. He turned a pop star by releasing a song titled "Vai na fe" (go in faith), singing alongside his friend and rapper Trio Temura in 2014.

2. The flamboyant playmaker was known for his bag of tricks on the field, including his signature "no look pass" and a flick known as the "elastico" which he said was inspired by one of his idols, Rivellino.

3. At the prime of his career in the middle of the previous decade, Ronaldinho scored a string of spectacular goals, such as this bicycle kick in Barcelona's match against Villarreal in the Spanish La Liga in 2007. He was also part of Brazil's feared Four R's that also included Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos.

He pulled off another stunner against Atletico Madrid.

4. He left Europe for South America in 2011. He said: "That was one of the things that most motivated me to return home to Brazil, in search of a title that I don't have, as well as this being a club with great players."

And following spells at Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Mexican side Queretaro, Ronaldinho returned to Brazil again this July by signing for Fluminense. He said: "That was one of the things that most motivated me to return home to Brazil, in search of a title that I dont have, as well as this being a club with great players."

After two months, nine games and no goals, Ronaldinho and Fluminense terminated the contract by mutual consent. He is still without a club and he made the last of his 97 appearances for his national team (33 goals) in 2013.

5. This is Ronaldinho's second visit to Singapore. In July 2008, he was part of the Brazil's Olympic football team that warmed up for the Beijing Games by playing a friendly match with a Singapore Selection team at the National Stadium.