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Former Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho has agreed to a new contract at Atletico Mineiro, thus bringing to an end all the speculation linking him with a return to European football with Besiktas. The Turkish outfit have been linked with a move for the player, who slowly appears to be finding his best form in recent years. Even though he may never play at the level he was seen during the 2006 World Cup, he still remains as one of the finest players in the Brazilian league. Hence, Atletico Mineiro were under a lot of pressure to sign him on a new contract.
Besiktas were interested in taking him back to Europe, as he would also like the same in order to be selected for the Brazilian squad. Ronaldinho has not featured for the national team for a long time and he is stuck on 97 caps. It is understood that he wants to play for the national team at the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted in Brazil. As a result, he was even convinced that a move to European outfits will put him back in the eyes of Scolari, but it now appears that Atletico Mineiro will keep him for much longer.
Club president Alexandre Kalil confirmed the news on Twitter, but the length of the contract has not been revealed yet. Ronaldinho almost helped the team secure major titles this season. The new season is set to start in a week. Cruzeiro managed to win the title last season after taking 76 points compared to the 65 points of Gremio. Atletico Mineiro could only manage a third-place finish in the table, but they have qualified for the Copa Libertadores as a result of it.
Atletico Mineiro have been able to challenge for title due to the presence of Ronaldinho.
Even though Ronaldinho has not played for Brazil since a friendly match against Chile back in April, he has not given up hope of being called up by Scolari and participate in the upcoming World Cup which will be held in Brazil.
The 33 years old playmaker is currently making a recovery from a thigh injury he sustained but a video posted from the former Barcelona displayed him in a physiotherapy session at the training base of Athletic Mineiro, the video had the hash tag ‘’Ronaldinho return’’ with a message that said: “What I want is the World Cup’’.
Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said that Kaka and Ronaldinho both have the chance to make a return to the national team ahead of the World Cup as the tactician is keeping a close eye on both players.
Ronaldinho talked about his recovery and how things are going for him in his club.
“I am extremely motivated. We have the chance to take this club to a higher level. My desire is to take Athletic as far as possible,” he said, while admitting that he is not currently in top physical condition.
“I am undertaking physical preparation so I can last the remaining months of the year,” he said.
Neymar has high expectations with his new club Barcelona as he said to the Spanish media, in which he expressed his desire to replicate what Ronaldinho did playing in ‘’El Clasico’’.
“It’s the match every player wants to play in, and is the game where each player wants to play his best football.
“I remember the Clasico, I believe it was in 2005, when Ronaldinho scored two goals. That’s the Barca-Madrid match I remember most.”
His recovery and the matches he plays with his club will determine if Scolari calls him up to make an appearance in his starting XI and represent his national team Brazil.