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Watch: Remembering The Clásico Moment Which Sealed Ronaldinho's Mythical Status

Watch: Remembering The Clásico Moment Which Sealed Ronaldinho's Mythical Status
By Gavan Casey

The 19th of November 2005 was a football legend's crowning glory.

It was then almost three years to the day since Luis Figo had been showered with a curious mix of vocal derision, empty Coke bottles and animal carcasses as he went to take a corner on his return to Camp Nou; more Judas than prodigal son, perhaps, but in juggling the ball on the sideline while waiting for the debris to be cleared by stewards, the Portuguese icon proved himself a pantomime villain worthy of the occasion.

In the early 2000s the bilious nature of El Clásico played out in the howling stands more so than the pitch-level eye-poking and turgid arse-chancery we've grown accustomed to over the course of this decade.

How befitting of Ronaldinho's greatness, then, that it was Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu who inducted him into Clásico folklore after he tore their team asunder with a two-goal display.

Samuel Eto'o had put the visitors into a deserved lead after just 15 minutes with a superbly-timed finish (after a nifty break by a particularly gifted 17-year-old from Argentina).

From there, the game became the Ronaldinho show. At his imperious best, the Brazilian World Cup winner exuded all the pace, power and trickery which saw him crowned Ballon D'Or winner the same year, embarking on a one-man wrecking mission of Madrid's defence.

His first goal drew some appreciative applause from Madrid fans. His second drew a standing ovation.


Barcelona's 3-0 victory moved them to the top of the table, with Frank Rijkaard becoming the first Barca boss to win twice at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid were jeered off the pitch by their own fans. In a rare moment of pure footballing emotion, the same could not be said for the man who had destroyed them. But to those watching, it was more than just an appreciative nod amidst a rivalry built on bitterness. It was an affirmation. It was the day Ronaldinho cemented his place amongst the pantheon of football's greats.

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