Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ronaldinho is not a robot

At long last the question has been answered, "is Ronaldinho a robot?" According to Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, he is not. In fact, it turns out that 'he is human.'

The proof? His 'not as great as we all remember it being' form of late.

Rijkaard points to the team's pre-season tours, such as the one that brought them to the US, as a big part of the problem.

'But it is another thing to talk about the pre-season. Because of contractual obligations he had to play every game and this catches up with you in the end.

'We have seen a drop in his performances but we aren't worried. We are managing it and he is doing what he can for the team which is the most important thing.'

Both Rijkaard and defender Rafael Marquez have pinpointed the club's two-week promotional tour of Mexico and the US as a major disruption to Barca's preparations for the season.

Could this be the beginning of a backlash against the overseas tours or is it just an excuse?

To be fair to Ronaldinho, he really hasn't had any time off since last summer, so one can only figure he's tired. Still, when you are 'World Player of the Year' people expect something from you every moment on the pitch.

By the way, if this is the beginning of a backlash, and if it spreads, what will it mean for MLS's summer soccer promotions?


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