The Best Ever

4 years ago

Ronaldinho scored three goals and set up two more as Atletico Mineiro destroyed 10-man Figueirense on Saturday in the Brasileirão, but that`s not the real story from the game.

The real story is this: After scoring his first goal in the 12th minute, a cross/shot floater off the post and into the top corner in, Ronaldinho was overcome with emotion.

First, Ronaldinho knelt on the pitch and appeared to pray. Then he wept before being swarmed by his teammates. Coming from a player known for his infectious smile on and off the field, it was a jarring but touching moment of heartfelt emotion.

That show of emotion was a spontaneous reaction to the death of Ronaldinho`s stepfather, who died Friday after suffering a heart attack (per Associated Press via Sports Illustrated). The tribute continued 12 minutes later as Ronaldinho set up Rever`s headed goal with a cross from a free kick.

Ronaldinho scored his second goal directly from a free kick in the 32nd minute. He completed his hat trick with a 63rd-minute penalty, five minutes before picking up his second assist by setting up Bernard.

Carlos Cesar completed the rout in the 82nd minute.

Ronaldinho, the two-time former world player of the year, joined Aletico Mineiro from Flamengo in the middle of the season. Now 32, he was a member of Brazil`s 2002 World Cup-winning squad, as well as the 2006 team.

The win kept Atletico Mineiro six points behind league leaders Fluminense, but it also showed that even at age 32, Ronaldinho still has plenty to offer his new team.

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