August 2, 2014
MY TWO CENTS
Ronaldinho to Cosmos: Is it really too far-fetched?
By Matthew Levine
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
The battle continues to rage on as to who is the best player in the world – Messi or Ronaldo? However, once upon a time Ronaldinho was on that lofty pedestal. Now not so much, but he still is a very good player.
This isn’t to say the Cosmos are pursuing the now 34-year-old free agent or that they would even be at the top of the list of clubs for the Brazilian playmaker to join. However, for a moment, suspend the disbelief, as there are reasons why it could make sense for both parties involved.
“Who wouldn’t [want Ronaldinho]? Definitely he’s an interesting player,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said about the Brazilian playmaker. “I think it will make any league a better league. He’s an extraordinary soccer player that can bring so much to the United States. Many people will be trying to communicate with him at this time so for us for sure he would be an interesting player, but we have to see if he’s within our reach or not.
“I know he has a lot of options and opportunities as well.”
Since the announcement of his mutual parting with Atletico Mineiro, the focus has been on what Major League Soccer club could entice the former Ballon d’Or winner to the states. But with no salary cap could a North American Soccer League side entice him?
Within MLS, Ronaldinho would be another marketable star. In the NASL, he would be the star of not just his team, but also the whole league.
If there were any team in the league that could make such a move, it would be the Cosmos. They have a history of signing top Brazilian players – Pele, Carlos Alberto and Marcos Senna (well, sort of -- he is Brazilian-born and a naturalized Spanish citizen).
Backed by Sela Sport, the Cosmos can flash the financial muscle when they choose to. If they could land Ronaldinho, it wouldn’t be the first time they pulled one over on the MLS. Remember Andre Lewis?
If a deal was complete, Ronaldinho could still compete in a competitive league, even if it’s the U.S.’ second division. The NASL has certainly shown its growth.
Also the precedent for the Brazilian’s signing has already been set. Kleberson and Senna were both one time key contributors for their national teams before latching on with an NASL club.
With an international future surely all, but done, Ronaldinho could shine in the spotlight of the NASL as the face of the league and make a nice sum to do it.
For the Cosmos, they would add another top player to help with a title push and to get the fall season back on track after mustering four points in three games.
Not to mention, the attendance numbers that have dropped would take a nice uptick if Ronaldinho is suiting up in a green kit.
While there are some reasons it would be a symbiotic relationship for both player and club, it is still a bit of a fairy tale. However, can’t stop someone from dreaming.
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