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the blow of the century / One day, one transfer / Episode 24 / SOFOOT.com

This summer during the transfer window, So Foot returns every day of the week to a transfer that marked its time in its own way. For this 24th episode, back to 2001. The PSG coup is one of the most beautiful in the history of the transfer window: Ronaldinho, barely 21, arrives. And almost free.

Do you know why Teemu Tainio remained in history? First for being the first Finn to shine in D1. But also for being the one who countered Ronaldinho’s first technical gesture in Europe during a meeting between Auxerre and Paris Saint-Germain. We are on August 4, 2001. To the Abbé-Deschamps. A few moments ago, the young number 21 of PSG has just replaced José Aloísio to play his baptism of fire in France and on the Old Continent. History to begin to trace his legend which will lead him to the Ballon d’Or, among others. But the story of his transfer between Grêmio and PSG could have deserved his Netflix mini-series. 2000, the time of an upheaval in the transfer window. In South America, the Pelé law will come into force on March 26, 2001. The principle: a club whose player is at the end of his contract cannot ask for transfer compensation. Land of football and artists, Brazil is upwind. The clubs going so far as to request the Presidency of the Republic to push back this law. In Porto Alegre, it’s panic. Ronaldinho de Assis Moreira, 20, a true pearl of football auriverdeis at the end of the contract on February 15, 2001. A free departure would be experienced as a shame. “Ronaldinho Gaucho is the last of the romantics of Brazilian football” , portrayed in the Romário era. That is to say…

“Paris is the best place I could go. » Ronaldinho

Ronnie dates all of Europe, except Paris

In the head of young Ronnie, it is clear, Europe is his next destination. Despite requests from Real Madrid (from 1999), Barça, Dortmund, Leeds, the two Milans, sometimes with much more attractive financial offers in Spain and Italy, Ronaldinho chose the French capital. “Paris is the best place I could gohe launches into The Team at the time. It’s a beautiful city. I will have everything to be fully happy. After having managed to live in France, I will be able to live anywhere else. » The Grêmio nevertheless offers a disproportionate contract for its own resources: 900,000 francs per month, then 1.1MF and 1.4MF after one and two years. Nothing helps: Ronaldinho and his brother, Roberto Assis, have a very specific career plan in mind. A club in Europe where he started, then Spain in two years and Italy behind. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental. Ronaldinho therefore signed five years at PSG on December 22, 2000. On January 17, Paris officially announced that the arrival of his nugget was scheduled for 1er July. But the Grêmio wants its nest egg. With the following posture: Ronaldinho signed his future contract while he was still engaged in Porto Alegre.

“We must also pay tribute to him. When he arrives at PSG, there is no one more serious than him in training. » Luis Fernández

Big thighs and a friendly smile with Anelka

Arrived at Grêmio at the age of 6, Ronaldinho sees his adventure with his club always end sadly. A suitcase overflowing with tickets is placed at the foot of a grandstand during his final appearance in front of his audience. And even if he sends a cake in the middle of the skylight, whistles descend from the bays. This match of January 31 will be his last in club until the Abbé-Deschamps! A few meetings with the Brazilian selection to stretch their legs, but that’s all. Endless. “The first year, we did a remarkable job with him.recognizes Luis Fernandez, Parisian coach at the time. We must also pay tribute to him. When he arrives at PSG, there is no one more serious than him in training. It’s all there: the motivation, the desire to play, the desire to be strong, to progress. »

Passed through the capital in April, notably with a presence in the show Nowhere else of Canal+, he resumes with his new team in June. “I think I have enough joie de vivre to infect everyone there.he promises. I’m a ball kid, that’s all. » “We knew he was a good player, but not a crack like thatrewinds Didier Domi. We didn’t have YouTube! When you start doing the first toros, you understand. » Marked by the smile of the Brazilian, “her small trunk with her big thighs” the former defender gradually discovers the personality of the genius: “I remember a friendly smile with Nicolas Anelka. A little shyness is normal, but good vibes. You feel that. But he couldn’t play. »

“Despite his taste for partying, he did not cheat on the pitch”

No matter how hard he trains, the future genius still cannot be fielded by PSG. “I was told that I had to be very careful, because the file was very sensitivestill surprised Luis Fernandez. I did not understand. » And when he was looking for explanations, what was the response to the sponsored coach Chupa Chups? “I was told that I didn’t need to know. » His new player watches the first Intertoto Cup matches from the stands. But the training sessions are enough to captivate his teammates. “A lot of joy, a lot of joyremembers Selim Benachour. We were two technicians. We were playing the same position. He liked to play with me in training, we tried to be on the same team. We understood each other. We thought the same football. It’s wonderful to have been able to meet him. Despite his taste for partying, he did not cheat on the pitch. »

Party question, Ronaldinho cannot celebrate his first in D1 during the opening of the season at the Park against Lille. While FIFA is solicited in the imbroglio around his transfer, Ronaldinho is still banned from the field. Before, therefore, to obtain the final green light. In the end, PSG will be condemned to pay 4.8 million euros to Grêmio … who claimed six times more! At the time, the true value of the prodigy was estimated at 75 million euros. Ronaldinho, he will end his first appearance by exchanging his jersey with that of Djibril Cissé. The legend does not say if he first asked Teemu Tainio for his liquette.

By Timothé Crepin
Comments by Ronaldinho taken from The Team. Those of Selim Benachour, Didier Domi and Luis Fernandez collected by TC.

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