Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁonawˈdʒĩɲu]) or Ronaldinho Gaúcho, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro and currently captains the Brazilian national team.His main playing position is as a attacking midfielder or forward. He is widely regarded as one of the best current footballers. He is a two-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year, an award which he received in 2004 and 2005.
"Ronaldinho", the diminutive and term of endearment for "Ronaldo", is accompanied in Brazilian usage by the nickname "Gaúcho", in order to distinguish him from fellow footballer and countryman Ronaldo, who was known as "Ronaldinho" in Brazil beforehand. Ronaldo simply went by his first name upon his move to Europe, thereby allowing Ronaldinho to drop the "Gaúcho" and go by the name Ronaldinho abroad.
Prior to his move to Flamengo, he played for Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona and Milan. With the Spanish club, he won his first Champions League in 2006 and the Ballon d'Or in 2005. He became a Spanish citizen in January 2007. He was also named in the FIFA 100, a list of the greatest footballers compiled by fellow countryman Pelé, and in the FIFPro World XI consecutively from 2004–2007.
Football refers to a number of sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball with the foot to score a goal. The most popular of these sports worldwide is association football, more commonly known as just "football" or "soccer". Unqualified, the word football applies to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears, including association football, as well as American football, Australian rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, rugby league, rugby union and other related games. These variations of football are known as football codes.
Various forms of football can be identified in history, often as popular peasant games. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The influence and power of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside of the directly controlled Empire, though by the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic Football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, the various codes of football became amongst the most popular team sports in the world.