It’s hard to believe, but this guy is being accused of a lack of focus on his game. Ronaldinho hasn’t turned up for preseason training at Mexican side Querétaro. And training started more than two weeks ago.
True, the playmaking playboy is the two-time FIFA world player of the year. But that was back in 2004-05. There’s only so much credit that past greatness will earn a fading 34-year-old whose long absence for unspecified personal reasons is threatening to undermine discipline and work ethic at his club.
Maybe when (or if) Ronaldinho does show, he can give all his teammates a Porsche as a way of apologizing. Or hold a pool party.
In other aging South American ex-Barcelona playmaker news, AS reports that Juan Román Riqueleme is leaving Argentinos Juniors in order to spend more time talking about himself in the third person.
“Boca is Riquelme and Riquelme is Boca,” the 36-year-old said, discussing his affection for the club where he’s spent most of his career. “The Boca No. 10 shirt is mine and when another player comes along and wins more than three Copa Libertadores then they can lay claim to it. The day someone else plays over 206 games at La Bombonera, then they can treat the club like the front patio of their home; I won’t be returning to Boca as a player.”
While Riquelme’s future is in doubt, France Football reports that young and not South American playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa looks headed to Nice from Newcastle on a six-month loan deal with a view to a permanent move, having metaphorically burned both the Humber Bridge and the Tyne Bridge through his maverick, non-defending antics. He is, as we like to say in English, an enfant terrible.