Ronaldinho launches football academy in Singapore
Hair still frizzy, attitude still easy, Ronaldinho did not have to do much to send more than 1,000 of his adoring fans into a frenzy when he arrived at Changi Airport on Thursday (Dec 10) afternoon before being whisked away to launch a football academy and his e-scooter at ION Orchard.
Wearing the same plain white T-shirt, beanie, shades, diamond-encrusted watch, rolled-up black pants and white Nike Air Force 1s to the Ronaldinho Football Academy press conference, the 35-year-old Brazilian tipped his compatriot Neymar to be an even better footballer than himself.
"Neymar is conquering his own space now and he has everything to be the greatest football in history," said Ronaldinho, who was welcomed by a samba drum crew.
Having spent five seasons and his best years at the Nou Camp, where he won two La Liga medals, one Champions League title and the 2004 and 2005 World Player of the Year awards, it was no surprise who his pick were for this year's European title.
"Barcelona," he declared at the ground floor of ION Orchard to cheers from the crowd, many of whom had to climb to the upper levels to get a clear glimpse of the superstar, although his famous freestyle repertoire was limited to just one fancy flick.
"They will always be a special team in my heart," Ronaldinho added, before launching seven autographed footballs into the air, nearly causing a mini-stampede and damage to the mall's Christmas decorations.