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Ronaldinho on his way out at Barca, chairman says (SN)

SoccerNews in La Liga 19 May 2008

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Brazil's two-time World player of the Year Ronaldinho is set to leave Barcelona, the club president Joan Laporta has said.

Laporta told the Catalan TV3 station that the midfielder, who struggled with injuries and poor form last season, needed new challenges.

“When the wheel turns, it's normal that the key figures leave,” he said. “I would very much like for Ronaldinho to leave like (coach) Frank Rijkaard and that we can keep the memories of a player who helped us win two league titles and one Champions League trophy.”

Barcelona, who failed to win a trophy for the second straight year in the 2007/2008 season, announced on May 7 that Rijkaard would leave at the end of the season and be replaced by former player Josep Guardiola.

Bernd Schuster, the coach of league champions Real Madrid, meanwhile, scoffed at press reports that he was preparing to launch a mega-deal to bring Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo to the capital city.

“I prefer to spend my time talking about things that have some bearing to reality,” he told a press conference late on Sunday.

Marca sports daily had reported that Real were still interested in buying Ronaldo who has put off all talk of his future until after Wednesday's Champions League final in Moscow against Chelsea.

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