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25.07.2007 15:36

“We want to make Barça a winning team again”

Vanessa Forns

In his first press conference since the holidays, Ronaldinho has said the team has spoken about what needs improving and that they are ready to make Barça a winning team again.

There was plenty of expectation as Ronaldinho faced the press for the first time since the summer vacation, and he said the team “has spoken about what needs improving on last season” in order to “make improvements both on and off the pitch and make Barça champions again”.

Fully motivated

dinho_dif_25-07-07.jpgLast year the Brazilian missed the training camp in Demark in order to get some rest after the World Cup in Germany, but this year he is going to involved in the pre-season right from the start. And he claims to be delighted to be back under the orders of Frank Rijkaard. “I am very motivated” he said. “After enjoying my holidays I am hoping to prepare myself well to play as I always have.”

Ronaldinho had asked his manager to be excused from Brazil’s Copa America squad for the tournament held last month in Venezuela. “I asked not to play in order to get some free time and rest, in order to get back to 100%” he said. But the Brazilian international was naturally delighted that his team had seen off Argentina to win the trophy.

Henry adapting

entrenomatiescocia24707_x2x.jpgOne of the players attracting most of the attention on the Scottish tour is Thierry Henry. Ronaldinho says that the incorporation of a player of Henry’s standing “is an added motivation, a delight, because he is one of the best players in the world.” Asked how the Frenchman is adapting, Ronaldinho said “he is a simple, open person, who is able to adapt well to the group. He has come to help us achieve our target, which is to win titles.”

Ronaldinho, Messi, Eto'o and Henry together?

Since Henry arrived, a lot of people have been wondering whether there is any chance of him, Ronaldinho, Messi and Eto'o all lining up in the same starting eleven. Ronaldinho is adamant that “that is the manager’s decision. The more quality players there are in the squad, the better for the club.” Of course, Frank Rijkaard may even opt to bench Ronaldinho for some games, and if that happens “I’d accept it because it’s only normal in football. The players that are doing best are the ones who will get to start.”

Good preparations

dinho_2_dif_25-07-07.jpgRonaldinho was asked how important he felt FC Barcelona’s first pre-season game against Dundee United is, and he said “we are taking this game very seriously because it forms part of our preparations. It is important to give it your all in every training session and every game.” He took the opportunity to thank the Scottish people for the wonderful reception he and the rest of the squad had received.
“We want to make Barça a winning team again”

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“My mind is on Barça”
As he has said so many times before, Ronaldinho is keen to see out plenty more years at FC Barcelona. There have been stories in the papers that AC Milan would be ready to pay the Brazilian’s hefty withdrawal clause, but Ronaldinho insists that although “it is always nice to know that people are interested in you, I am very happy here and my mind is on Barça. I never think of anything other than FC Barcelona, which is where my future lies”.

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