We were delighted to hear the news that broke a few months ago that Ronaldinho was returning to Brazil to play for Fluminense, as it was supposed to give us a chance to watch a few moments of magic from an icon of football back where he belongs in his homeland.
Sadly, it hasn't worked out that way, and it hasn't worked out at all, as after nine games, 0 goals and 0 assists, coupled with Fluminense's slide from 4th place when he arrived to 12th place now, Ronaldinho's contract has been terminated by mutual consent.
Fluminense sporting director Mario Bittencourt said the following after announcing the decision:
Ronaldinho asked us for a meeting. He respectfully told us he didn't feel he was able to perform as good as he wanted and that it was a bad situation for him.
He asked us our opinion, we were straight with him and told him it wouldn't work for us, so we decided releasing him was the right thing to do.
I don't feel that he lacked commitment and dedication to Fluminense, he's a player who is known worldwide. He made a great gesture in saying he wasn't being the player he felt he could be right now.
While many expect the travelling Ronaldinho road-show to continue somewhere like India, reports in Brazil are claiming that 'El Gaucho' may finally be considering retirement.
Ronaldinho Gaúcho is reportedly considering retiring from football, his contract with Fluminense was canceled by mutual consent last night.
— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) September 29, 2015
This would bring to an end a legendary career, and while at 35 it may be ridiculous to expect him to continue to play and perform, we had hoped he would follow in the footsteps of his good friend Rivaldo and play into his 40s, purely for the odd highlight clip that would come our way, similar to this one from his time in Mexico.
This may be it, but at least at the end of his career he can look back and say that he played in a friendly at Lansdowne Road.
All good things come to an end, but those of us who grew up with 2002-2006 Ronaldinho setting the bar for what could be done with a football, it's difficult to take. While his career finished a long time ago for some, just knowing that he was still taking the piss out of people somewhere was comforting in a way.