Barcelona players defend Ronaldinho

21st September 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 September 2007, MADRID - Ronaldinho's team mates at Barcelona have rushed to defend the Brazilian striker after he was jeered by fans earlier this week and accused once again by the Spanish press of being under form.

21 September 2007

MADRID - Ronaldinho's team mates at Barcelona have rushed to defend the Brazilian striker after he was jeered by fans earlier this week and accused once again by the Spanish press of being under form.

The 27-year-old ace was whistled at by a section of the Nou Camp stadium as he was substituted during the second half during the 3-0 Champions League home win against Lyon because of what they felt was a lacklustre performance.

Ronaldinho did not look pleased about being replaced for the third straight match by Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard.

"I don't understand why they whistled at him. He's the best in the world and a key player in the team," said Argentine striker Lionel Messi.

"He's an incredible player," added Barcelona's new recruit Thierry Henry who acknowledged that Ronaldinho had not been in top form during the team's recent away matches.

The Spanish sports press appear unanimous in their appraisal of Ronaldinho's dip in form, but some appear to believe his star is on the wane.

The El Mundo daily on Friday said Ronaldinho is no longer "untouchable" while the Barcelona-based La Vanguardia said the player was "in torment".

Ronaldinho could be paying the price for his reported behaviour off the field too.

La Vanguardia added that 48 hours before Barcelona's goalless draw against Osasuna at home on Sunday Ronaldinho was seen at a famous nightclub in the city.

"No one understands" the decline in form of the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year award, the conservative daily newspaper ABC added.

(Copyright AFP with Expatica)

Subject: Spanish news

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