Name at birth: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho was named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, cementing his place as one of his sport's most talented stars. His charming bent-toothed grin, flowing curls and sparkling ballhandling skills also helped make him a major off-the-field celebrity. Ronaldinho's first team was the Gremio Football Club of Brazil, where he began playing professionally in 1998. He moved to the French club Paris-Saint Germain in 2001, and then on to FC Barcelona in 2003 for a fee of 30 million Euros. He blossomed as a midfielder with Barcelona, winning his World Player of the Year awards while lifting the club out of the doldrums and pushing it to victory in the 2006 Champions League final over Arsenal. Ronaldinho also has starred for the Brazilian national team; his goal in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, a 40-yard free kick lobbed over English keeper David Seaman and into the corner of the net, helped Brazil win its fifth World Cup.
Ronaldinho is often called Ronaldino Gaucho, the ?Gaucho? being a name given to people from the southern Brazil state of Rio Grande do Sul? Ronaldinho is sometimes confused with another Brazilian soccer star, Ronaldo who also was called Ronaldinho earlier in his career. It is typical for Brazilian soccer players to use a single name, and In Portuguese, the suffix ?inho? means ?little.?
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