Ronaldinho hoping Confederations Cup break aids Atletico Mineiro

Shane Callaghan
Ronaldinho hoping Confederations Cup break aids Atletico Mineiro

Atletico Mineiro forward Ronaldinho says the month-long break in the domestic calendar due to the Confederations Cup has intensified his desire to win the Copa Libertadores.

Atletico Mineiro travels to Rosario, Argentina, on Wednesday to face Newell's Old Boys for the first leg of their semifinal clash in the continent's most prestigious club competition.

However, Atletico, which is vying for its first-ever Copa Libertadores title, has not played a competitive fixture since June 12 due to the country's hosting of the Confederations Cup, but the former Barcelona attacker says the break has provided the team with an added hunger to reach the final.

"We've been missing the ball," Ronaldinho told the club's official video channel. "The break has come at a good time. We will all come back keener to play and reach the final, but the game on Wednesday will be like another final. It will be the hardest game we have played."

The second leg is scheduled to be played on July 11, with either Olimpia of Paraguay or Colombian outfit Independiente Sante Fe awaiting the winners of the tie in the final of the competition.

Ronaldinho was omitted from Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari's Confederations Cup squad, but both Selecao internationals Jo - who, with six goals is leading the hunt for the tournament's golden boot - and Bernard have been welcomed back by coach Cucu for the trip to Argentina.

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