I didn’t kick Ronaldinho out of Barca – Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has revealed that Ronaldinho wanted to leave Barcelona for AC Milan and confirmed he didn’t kick the Brazilian out of the door, Teamtalk reports.
The Manchester City boss is widely thought to have sold Ronaldinho to stop his party lifestyle rubbing off on the emerging talent of Lionel Messi.
The former Brazil international joined the Spanish side from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003 and had three successful campaigns at the Camp Nou.
On an individual level he won the Ballon d’Or in 2005 as well as two FIFA Player of the Year awards, while Barcelona won two La Liga titles and a Champions League trophy.
A couple of poor seasons were to follow after a disappointing 2006 World Cup and he was sold in 2008 with reports claiming his lifestyle was affecting his play.
However, Guardiola has claimed that he wanted to keep Ronaldinho but it was the player’s wish to leave.
“Ronaldinho was a spectacular player,” said Guardiola.
“And when I met with him, I asked if he wanted to carry on, if he wanted to stay and he told me that he had wanted to leave for a while.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola admits Man City need to replace ‘seven or eight players’ in the coming years – but is reluctant to ‘rip the heart and soul out of the club’.
Key to their recent success has been the potency of an attack reinvigorated by the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and the improved form of Leroy Sane.
Jesus, the £27m signing from Palmeiras, has shone in his first three games while Sane, after a slow start since his £37m arrival last summer, has scored three goals in his last four appearances.
The pair are 19 and 21 years old respectively and, combined with 22-year-old Raheem Sterling, City’s attacking line is full of youthful promise.
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