Lionel Messi: Ronaldinho Nearly Drew in Barcelona Great Into Partying Lifestyle

Lionel Messi: Ronaldinho Nearly Drew in Barcelona Great Into Partying Lifestyle

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • A documentary on Pep Guardiola has shed light on Ronaldinho's lifestyle at Barcelona
  • Barcelona's board were unhappy with the last years of Frank Rijkaard's reign at Camp Nou
  • It was thought that Ronaldinho could have negatively influenced Lionel Messi's lifestyle

Interesting details have now emerged of how Ronaldinho nearly influenced Lionel Messi into his partying lifestyle during the latter's formative years at Barcelona.

Messi's career in Blaugrana took off when Ronaldinho was already at the peak of his powers under Frank Rijkaard at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Barcelona, Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola
Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho during a Barcelona training session in 2007. Photo by Ian MacNicol.
Source: Getty Images

Barcelona's board were worried by how the levels of discipline under Rijkaard had dipped and made the bold decision to hire former player Pep Guardiola as the new manager.

A BBC documentary titled Pep Guardiola: Chasing Perfection follows the story of how Guardiola rose from becoming a 'nobody' on the managerial front to becoming one of the best coaches the world has ever seen.

Ronaldinho's alleged lifestyle at Barcelona

A former board member, Xavier Sala-I-Martin, lifted the lid on how they wanted change at the club to rein in squad behaviour.

"Ronaldinho plays the bongos until two in the morning every night. Everybody sees that; everybody has a cellular phone and takes pictures of him. Everyone knows we have a discipline problem.

Sala-I-Martin then revealed that he was worried a young Messi could have been influenced by his South American compatriot.

"Ronaldinho is getting older, partying all the time, trying to draw Messi into his lifestyle. How do you stop it? Well, we need a sergeant; we need a general."

Barcelona's appointment of Guardiola remains one of the best decisions the club has ever made. The Spanish tactician instantly turned around the club, winning the sextuple in 2009. Messi burst into life under Guardiola, winning three consecutive Ballon d'Ors.

Ronaldinho left Barcelona in 2008 with Messi taking over his number 10 shirt.

Ronaldinho names players better than Messi

Sports Brief has also reported that Ronaldinho once named three players better than Lionel Messi.

Having seen and trained with Messi first-hand, one would have thought that Ronaldinho would jump at the opportunity to declare him the best ever.

The Brazilian legend, however, settled on the Argentine over Cristiano Ronaldo in the GOAT debate.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
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