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FC Barcelona legend Ronaldinho has tipped Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona to return to the top of the game.
While Messi is currently being booed by fans at new employers Paris Saint Germain, and Barca look set to go at least four years without the La Liga trophy or longer if they can’t have a better 2022/2023 season under Xavi Hernandez, both the club and its greatest ever player are experiencing tough times.
Yet one of Messi’s early mentors at the Camp Nou in the mid-00s – when the Brazilian was the best player on the planet and scooped the 2005 Ballon d’Or to that effect – thinks that the Argentine and the Catalans can soon head back to the summit of the sport and said as much while being inducted to the Pachuca Hall of Fame also graced by the likes of Diego Maradona and Pele.
“Messi is not in a great moment right now, but for me it is difficult to question Messi after everything he has done for football. I am sure that he will soon win titles again and be considered the best in the world, which for he hasn’t stopped being me,” the 41-year-old explained at a press conference to reveal his induction.
As for the Catalans, Ronaldinho added that “Barca is going through a difficult time” but said he hopes they “recover quickly because it is a club that I have a lot of love for”.
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As per his achievement, Ronaldinho pointed out that being in the Hall of Fame was just as important to him as winning the Ballon d’Or, which during his fabled career was wedged between a 2002 World Cup triumph with Brazil and a 2006 Champions League crown in Paris for Barca that was the Blaugrana’s first since 1992.
“[It] is a special moment because I will be where so many important people in the world of football are. For me it is like a great prize, nothing changes, it is a great emotion, [and] a great joy to be able to participate in a moment like this”, Ronaldinho insisted.