The return of Ronadinho?

In true Don Corleone fashion, Silvio Berlusconi turned up at AC Milan’s opening pre-season friendly with Varese yesterday, in order to give his boys a little talk ahead of the new season.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the focus of Berlusconi’s attention was Ronaldinho, now the main man at the San Siro following Kaka’s move to Real Madrid.

The Italian prime minister reportedly singled out the gap-toothed one in front of his team mates and said: “Ronaldinho, you are a champion and now, in front of your teammates, you must promise to comport yourself as a professional for the whole season and lead us to victory.”

The former Barcelona star duly agreed and much to the delight of Berlusconi, Leonardo and the Rossoneri support, produced a fine performance against Varese that suggests Ronaldinho may be back to his best this season and will grace the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

The Samba star was a box of tricks yesterday and most crucially appears to have shed the pounds that slowed his performances last season. He set up Inzaghi for the second goal and gave the Varese right back a torrid time.

Match highlights can be seen here.

Ronaldinho’s individual performance against Varese can be seen on this video.

As a bonus, individual highlights of Thiago Silva’s performance can be seen here.