Ronaldinho entertained the football world in the first decade of this century. At Barcelona he performed the best footballing feats, but few knew that he was equally a master of his trade as a motivator in the dressing room. His former teammate revealed an amazing story before the memorable El Clásico.
Iniesta told an epic motivational story in his biography
Today we bring you one of the most iconic stories of how the former Barcelona star motivated his teammates before the memorable El Clásico. The inspirational story was reported by his teammate Andrés iniesta in his biography “The Artist:: Being Iniesta”.
The aforementioned story took place in 2005 before the memorable El Clásico, which took place on 19 November that year. At that time, Ronaldinho ruled football with performances that captivated the entire football world.
A few days before that match, the Brazilian ball wizard decided to motivate his teammates in a way that has gone down in history, and not just for Blaugranas fans. The last El Clásico of the previous season was clearly dominated by Real Madrid players, so Ronaldinho devised a plan to prepare a sweet revenge.
Before the Clásico, Ronaldinho told all his teammates that he was leaving for Real Madrid
As Iniesta wrote in his biography, Ronaldinho called him a few days before the game and shocked his teammates with information they didn’t expect from him. In fact, the Brazilian told the Spanish midfielder that he would be leaving for arch rivals Real Madrid in June.
“My brother has just made progress in negotiations with Real Madrid,” Ronaldinho was reported to have told his teammate. “They have offered me a sum I cannot refuse. Please don’t say that in the dressing room or to anyone in management, I trust you more than anyone else, please don’t betray me.”
Iniesta was of course shocked by the news and found it hard to understand that his idol was heading to his arch enemy. However, he decided to keep quiet and not betray the legendary Brazilian. Then, as all the players sat in the dressing room at the Santiago Bernabéu, Ronaldinho shocked all his teammates even more.
But on the day of the game, he revealed that he had made up the transfer to motivate his teammates
He actually stood up and spoke to his team while changing. “Today we have an important game, we will play against a strong team, but these days I have found out that we are like a big family. I called you all in the middle of the night to tell you that I’m leaving in June, but none of you spoke.”
“I understood that we were ready to die rather than betray each other. I’ll be here for many more years and now let’s go on the pitch and show them how to play football,” read a quote from Iniesta’s biography.
Barcelona’s players gave a perfect team performance, beating Real Madrid 0:3 on its own pitch.
In fact, he made two memorable solos through the Real Madrid defence in the match. His performance was appreciated by the Real Madrid fans who gave him a standing ovation. Barcelona won the whole competition that year and dominated the Champions League.
Source: Biography of Andrés Iniesta – “The Artist:: Being Iniesta”
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