Art Of Football have a new collection called “The Artists” launching on the 15th of February. This will be completely different to their current style and celebrates the players who have made the game beautiful. Down the years there have been some truly gifted players in football. So gifted in fact, that they truly left their mark on the game. They inspired so many of the younger generation to pursue football dreams in the hope of emulating these icons. These players emerged from all kinds of different backgrounds but they all had the same dream. The collection particularly focuses on a number of the true greats of the game; George Best, Pele, Diego Maradonna, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Johan Cryuff, Eusebio and Bobby Moore. Widely considered as some of the best ever, these guys are the ones that make football the Beautiful Game.
A player that had a profound effect on me growing up was the one and only Ronaldinho. He played the game like no one had before and it’s unlikely that someone will play like again. He dazzled the opposition and crowd alike with his incredible ability and skill-set that propelled him to the top of the game. He started his career at boyhood club Gremio but he caught the attention of many big suitors in Europe and eventually transferred to French giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2001. There he joined up with other stars such as fellow Brazilian Aloísio, midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha and striker Nicolas Anelka. It was during his time in Paris that he claimed a World Cup winners medal in the far east with Brazil, playing a pivotal role in his side’s success as they overcame Germany 2-0 in the final in Yokohama. Ronaldinho netted a wonderful goal in the quarter finals against England as he lobbed goalkeeper David Seaman from a great distance and it was at this point where he caught the attention of the world.
After another solid season in Ligue 1, Ronny completed a €30 million move to Spanish megastars FC Barcelona in 2003. He was now widely considered the greatest player on the planet and his performances at Barca backed up this assumption. In his first season at Camp Nou he netted an astonishing 22 goals and registered 14 assists all from midfield. It got even better from him as Barcelona won back-to-back La Liga title in 2004/05 and 2005/06. This feat was crowned with a Champions League triumph in May 2006 as the Blaugrana defeated Arsenal 2-1 in the final in Paris. Ronaldinho, of course, was the diving force of this astonishing success, as in the two title winning season he scored a combined 39 goals alongside 37 assists. Such was his good form, his status of best player in the world was confirmed as he won back-to-back Ballon D’Or awards in 2005 and 2006.
Unfortunately for Ronaldinho that was as good as it would get, as Brazil stuttered at international level, Ronaldinho’s club form also fluctuated. He was unable to guide Barca to anymore success and after a disappointing 2007/08 season, hampered by injuries, he departed Catalonia and joined AC Milan of Serie A. This move saw the start of the decline of the great Ronaldinho as Milan themselves were on the way down after many years of continental success. The Brazilian playmaker soon returned home to his native land and has had a nomadic few years, with some success along the way.
What made Ronaldinho so special compared to other world superstars was the way he played football. He always had a smile on his face and was looking for ways to entertain the crowd. He was a player adored by Barca and Brazil fans, envied by Real Madrid supporters and admired by just about everyone else. His laid back attitude should not be seen as a lack of professionalism. He was a committed member of the teams he played for and always tried his best on the pitch. His technique with the ball at his feet, combined with his range of passing and ability to shoot from distance made him a nightmare for every defence. He is a player that truly left his mark on the game and will never be forgotten by those lucky enough to witness his greatness.
Art of Football‘s new range intends on honouring these great players and reflect on their influence on our game. Their unique range of casual wear salutes the iconic ability of the true greats of football; George Best, Pele, Diego Maradonna, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Johan Cryuff, Eusebio and Bobby Moore. Checkout their range here.