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Ronaldinho (Ronaldo Assis de Moreira), 1980–, Brazilian soccer player. Also nicknamed "El Gaucho," the agile attacking forward has been a footballer since childhood. Known almost as much for his sunny personality and unfailing smile as for his superb soccer skills, he has a rare combination of technique and speed. He joined the pros in his teens, becoming (1997) a member of Gremio de Porto Alegro. He moved on to European play with Paris St.-Germain in 2001 and in 2003 joined FC Barcelona, where he led the team to the Catalonia Cup (2003–4), the Spanish League championship (2004–5), the Spanish Super Cup (2005), and the Champions League (2006). He also won the prestigious Ballon d'Or (2005) and was named European footballer of the year (2005) and world player of the year (2004–5). He has played for Brazil in international matches since 1999 and was instrumental in his team's 2002 World Cup victory.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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