Letting Brazilian star Ronaldinho leave Barcelona would be the biggest mistake in the Spanish club's history, Argentine football legend Diego Maradona said Wednesday in a newspaper interview.
“Without the Brazilian, Barcelona would be another club. It bothers me that certain members of the press have insisted that Ronaldinho no longer is anybody, that he is a former player. Without him rivals do not fear Barca,” he told daily sports newspaper Marca.
“I don't think 'Dinho' should apologize, as many people think. On the contrary. It is the Barcelona leaders who should thank Ronaldinho for what he has done for the club,” said Maradona, the inspiration behind Argentina reaching successive World Cup finals in 1986 and 1990.
“I think that if they let him go, it will be the biggest mistake in the history of the club,” he added.
Ronaldinho has fallen out with Barcelona this season due to a dip in form and frequent off-field indiscretions and is expected to ply his trade elsewhere next season.
The 28-year-old striker is currently on the sidelines with a torn right hamstring sustained in training on April 4.
The two-time World player FIFA of the Year had a stellar first three seasons at Barcelona after signing from French club Paris St Germain for 31 million euros in the summer of 2003.
He helped Barcelona win the 2005 and 2006 Spanish titles and the 2006 Champions League but concerns about his discipline started to grow about 18 months ago with increasing rumours of his love for the night life and visible evidence of an increasing waist line.
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