Thursday, 17 July 2008

[Mercato] Milan present Ronaldinho

Brazil star Ronaldinho Gaucho has been unveiled to fans and the media after completing his move from Barcelona to AC Milan.

RonaldinhoThousands of fans turned up at the San Siro to welcome Ronaldinho to the club, with the stadium nearly half full.

The 28-year-old insisted he was fully fit despite concerns about his lifestyle and attitude in Spain.

"I have always lived a regular life and I will continue like that. I am in good physical condition," he said.

"Every player dreams of playing for Milan. It is a special emotion and I hope to bring happiness to the fans.

"I already feel at home here," he added, speaking in Portuguese.

"It was a beautiful period (at Barcelona), we won important trophies but after recent disappointments we decided together to go our separate ways.

"Here I can go back to being happy and to reaching new personal and team objectives."

Ronaldinho, who rejected a move to to English Premier League outfit Manchester City, said he was particularly looking forward to playing alongside his Brazil team-mate Ricardo Kaka at Milan.

"It will be exciting to play with Kaka. He is among the best in the world. He is also a friend and we play well together," he said.

Ronaldinho underwent a medical in Milan on Wednesday and signed a contract that will keep him at the Serie A club to the end of the 2010-11 season.

Rossoneri fans snapped up 5,230 season tickets on Wednesday alone, following news of Ronaldinho's imminent arrival.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Milan will pay Barcelona £14.6m for his services, with the figure likely to be increased by performance-related bonuses.

The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year's time at Barcelona effectively came to an end in June when new manager Pep Guardiola announced the playmaker was surplus to requirements.

Ronaldinho helped Barcelona win back-to-back Spanish league titles and the Champions League in 2006, but failed to cement a regular place in the starting XI last season because of injury and fitness problems.

Source: BBC

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