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Ronaldinho talks Lionel Messi, Copa America emotions and Brazil’s World Cup hopes

Ronaldinho talks Lionel Messi, Copa America emotions and Brazil’s World Cup hopes

 

Ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated friendly meeting between the legends of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Brazilian icon Ronaldinho this evening opened up on a number of noteworthy topics, including Lionel Messi clinching Copa America glory on the Selecao’s home turf.

Albiceleste victorious

It has of course now been just over a week since South America’s biggest international tournament came to a close.

The showpiece occasion saw the continent’s two most successful nations – Brazil and Argentina – go head to head, for a place in the Copa history books.

Amid a host of noteworthy storylines surrounding the clash, none proved bigger than Lionel Messi’s hunt for silverware, with the Barcelona veteran having come up short in international finals on no fewer than four occasions across his career to date.

When all was said and done in Rio, though, Messi, and Argentina (who had not tasted glory since all the way back in 1993) came up trumps, to the delight of football fans around the globe.

A solitary goal proved enough to separate the long-time rivals upon the final whistle sounding, when Angel Di Maria’s wonderful first touch allowed the PSG wide-man to loft a clever finish over the onrushing Ederson:

‘A storm of emotions’

Whilst the night, in turn, proved an altogether special one for Messi and Argentina, Neymar’s Brazil – viewed as widespread favourites to make it two titles on the trot – were left to watch on as the Albiceleste lifted the much sought after Copa trophy on their home turf.

And it was this very topic which, during a media conference ahead of tomorrow’s aforementioned Clasico legends clash, one of the most iconic faces set to take part was drawn on.

Speaking to our own 101 reporter, Ronaldinho, of course a Brazilian legend but also former teammate and close friend of Lionel Messi, was asked:

‘As a Brazilian, but someone who’s close to Messi, how did it feel to see Messi win the Copa America in the Maracana, on home soil?’

Ronaldinho talks Lionel Messi, Copa America emotions and Brazil’s World Cup hopes

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 23: Ronaldinho of Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou Stadium on December 23, 2007 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona lost ‘El Clasico’ 1-0. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

And the 41-year-old, no doubt set to light up Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv with his trademark flicks and tricks in 24 hours’ time, went on to explain:

‘I was sad that the Selecao lost, but happy for Messi.’

‘It was a storm of emotions, that’s how it is when a friend like Messi faces Brazil.’

From here, 101 pressed Ronaldinho for his thoughts on Brazil’s prospects at next year’s World Cup, on the back of such a heartbreaking outcome at the Copa:

‘What do you think about Brazil after the Copa America loss? What do you predict for the World Cup?’

The one-time attacker, though, remained in typically high spirits, in assuring:

‘Brazil have a strong squad.’

‘Each time they reach a World Cup they know the meaning of it. I believe that eventually it will lead them to winning it again.’

 

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.