(Xinhua) - Fluminense coach Enderson Moreira has leapt to the defence of Ronaldinho after the 35-year-old was jeered by his own fans in a 1-2 loss to Atletico Mineiro on Sunday.
Ronaldinho was replaced in the 68th minute against his former club at the Maracana stadium.
The former Barcelona and AC Milan attacker has yet to score in six matches since joining Fluminense in July.
Moreira said the two-time Fifa World Player of the Year winner was still seeking rhythm, having not played regularly since leaving Mexico's Queretaro in June.
"It's the price he is paying for that period of inactivity," Moreira said. "We are looking for the right path for him to take. It's not easy.
"World football is competitive. First of all, what he needs is sequence of matches, then good preparation. He is a player of extreme quality but he is behind the others in terms of fitness and it is showing."
The result lifted Atletico Mineiro to second in the standings while Fluminense slipped to sixth.
Ronaldinho riled some Fluminense supporters by posing for photographs after the match with his former Atletico team-mates.
Goalkeeper Victor posted one of the images on his Facebook page along with the words: "Great victory! Fundamental in the race for first place. A reunion with this great man!"
World Cup winner Ronaldinho remains an idol at Atletico Mineiro, the side he helped win the 2013 Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club trophy.