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Ronaldinho talks about his future, tomorrow’s exhibition match in Atlanta

Don’t be surprised to see the Brazilian legend show up on a pitch in 2017.

Sydney Hunte

Atlanta soccer fans will have a unique opportunity on Sunday to see one of the game’s great players in action up close and personal.

“Ronaldinho and Friends”, set for Sunday at 6pm at Silverbacks Park, will feature Brazilian international and FC Barcelona great Ronaldinho, along with several Brazilian and local players, against a team featuring Miami United star Julio Cesar de Leon and Atlanta soccer stars past and present. Atlanta is a familiar setting for Ronaldinho - he participated in the World Football Challenge with AC Milan in 2009 in a match against Club America at the Georgia Dome and was part of Brazil’s U17 team when they participated in a youth tournament in Roswell in 1997.

Ronaldinho and several of the event’s organizers met the media today. While parts of the press conference was in Portuguese, we did get a glimpse of what the future might hold for the 36-year-old, who said that he still had a passion for the game and would still be interested in playing - however, it wouldn’t be before the year is up. This is consistent with a report stating that he was mulling a trio of offers.

“I’m really thinking about it. I’m taking my time (but) I want the year to end (first). I know that I still have it in me to perform on the pitch, but it’s something I just need to analyze (right now),” Ronaldinho said. “I’ve received various offers.”

Ronaldinho did confirm later that two of those offers had come from clubs back home - specifically Cruzeiro and America (MG) in the state of Belo Horizonte. Despite having played for Mineiro, a rival to the two clubs, those were two offers he would still consider.

As far as his experiences with Atlanta, Ronaldinho mentioned that he had many friends and family in the area that he is looking forward to seeing at tomorrow’s match. With it being his third time in the area, he does have some familiarity of the region.

Ronaldinho also spoke on the women’s game, its growth over the past few years, and the impact his countrywomen Marta, Formiga, and Sissi have had on its expansion.

“Now, young women all over the world look up to these big teams,” he said. “I feel without a doubt that it has grown immensely.”