January 12, 2011
The rickety gates at Flemengo's training stadium couldn't hold back the frothing excitement of 20,000 fans who turned up to welcome Ronaldinho. Naturally, there was singing, dancing and booty shaking to mark the 30-year-old's return to Brazilian club football. And Ronaldinho thanked the fans for their rabid support and promised to repay them on the pitch. It was a delighful afternoon that shows just a fraction of the madness that will be on display once Ronaldinho actually plays a match.
Here are some scenes from the joyous event...
The club shop was well stocked with Dinho's new No. 10 shirt.
That's, uh, flattering. And horrifying.
There were kisses from from club president Patricia Amorin. And finally, Ronaldinho spoke:
Could this move be a rebirth of sorts for the smiling genius who was the best in the world not long ago? Age is starting to work against him and motivation seems to have been thin over his time with AC Milan, but now that he's surrounded by a crowd that busts through gates when they're happy, that shouldn't be a problem anymore.
Photos: Getty Images, Globoesporte.com