Ronaldinho is alive and kicking!

… and has joined a group of only 5 other players, all time. Maybe there’s more in store from the buck-toothed uber-genius… maybe even in the World Cup?

Read this. And here’s the excerpt:

Ronaldinho, still only 33, would have taken Atlético’s fifth kick. He has been exceptional at times this year, the creative hub of a side that has produced the best football in the competition. He was denied the climax of converting the winning penalty, but joins Cafu, Dida, Roque Júnior, Carlos Tevez and Walter Samuel in the select group to have won both the Champions League and Libertadores.

How would any self-respecting football fan remember Ronaldinho? With a smile.

The world’s a happier place when Ronaldinho’s playing football.


Paul Lambert’s CL win with Dortmund

Paul Lambert (yes, Villa’s Paul Lambert) was the first Brit to win the CL with a non-Brit club.

He won it with Dortmund (Winning Man of the Match in the final against Juventus, making an assist, and marking Zinedine Zidane out of the game)

Here’s the story, courtesy Guardian. An excerpt:

Lambert would end the season as Dortmund’s man of the match in their Champions League final triumph over Juventus, having shackled a bloke called Zinedine Zidane in midfield and also set up the opening goal of the 3-1 win for Karl-Heinz Riedle. The Glaswegian had been outstanding in both legs of the semi-final victory over Manchester United and he became the first British player to win the European Cup with a non-British club.

Bravo. What a story.

Real Madrid’s Five European Cups (1956-60) : Luck? Circumstances?

Intelligent question raised in The Guardian.

Was it because there were no other real challengers from across the globe?

The Superga Air Disaster destroyed any hope Torino could have had going into the early years of the European Cup, the Hungarian Revolution ended any chance Honved had of having a competitive chance as players like Kocsis and Puskas were forced to leave (Puskas incidentally to Madrid), and those in Britain are obviously familiar with what happened to Manchester United‘s young team. By the time all of these teams dissolved, Real had only won 2 of their 5.