Former Barcelona defender Edmilson says that Ronaldinho is largely responsible for the club’s success.
Ronaldinho spent five years at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2008, helping the club win two La Liga titles and one Champions League crown, among other trophies.
Almost four years have passed since the 32-year-old left for AC Milan, but Edmilson believes that the Flamengo ace’s legacy is still being felt at the club.
“He was an exceptional player at Barca,” Edmilson told Band. “I do not know what happened to him in his last months at the club.
“He arrived at the club in a critical moment, he won everything and changed Barca’s history.
“What Barca is now is 80 percent because of him. He decided to leave to join Milan, but unfortunately he could not keep the same level he had shown at Barcelona.”
Edmilson, who retired from football in 2011, said he is not surprised by Lionel Messi’s meteoric rise to fame at Camp Nou.
“I played with him when he was breaking into the first team,” the 35-year-old said. “In training, we saw that he was a different player, because of his quality, acceleration, pace and ball control.
“Back then, when Ronaldinho was going through an impressive moment, we already knew that he would be a great player.
“Ronaldinho left and Messi started to have the same importance that Ronnie had had. Since 2007, Messi has been following a line in terms of displays, goals and titles which is not normal.”