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Lunchtime distraction: Remembering good Ronaldinho

Dec 27, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

Brazil Atletico Mineiro Ronaldinho AP

Since he moved back to Brazil last year, Ronaldinho has fallen off a lot of radars. That doesn’t mean the memory of one of the game’s most skilled players is ever far from our minds.

This video, juxtaposing Gaucho against the current best player alive, reminds us how amazing the Brazilian was during his time with Barcelona. While we’ve become accustomed to talking about Lionel Messi in grandiose terms because of a metronomic consistency that seems at odds with outlying results, clips of Ronaldinho’s brilliance on the ball remind us there is more to the game than piling on goals.

Of course, were you forming a team set to compete in a league, you’d take Messi over Ronaldinho. But if you’re asking which player can do more with a ball, the comparison’s not even close.

And since his career waned and was forced to reset, nobody’s been able to fill Ronaldinho’s shoes. A player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic marvels us with his pure dominance of play, but even his skill can’t produce the same marvels we saw from classic Ronaldinho. Where Ibra’s a force of nature, Ronaldinho was more of a capricious magician, as distracted as he was distracting.

So for today’s lunchtime distraction, we renew our perspective on Classic Gaucho. He may not have been as ruthless as Messi, but in many ways, he was more fun:

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