My Soccer World

Football: Ronaldinho Close To Milan Return

Posted on: February 7, 2009

MILAN, Italy : AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti revealed on Friday that Brazilian star Ronaldinho is getting closer to a return to the starting line-up after impressing in the midweek friendly against Rangers.

Ronaldinho has found himself mostly warming the bench since the arrival of David Beckham and has made it clear he is not happy with that role.

Having been one of Milan’s most effective players up until Christmas, he came under fire for his attitude on the club’s winter break in Dubai and has since been confined to a seat next to his coach in the dug-out.

Ancelotti has settled on a more compact formation with Clarence Seedorf supporting the top two of Brazilians Pato and Kaka with Massimo Ambrosini joining Beckham and Andrea Pirlo in a solid midfield three.

But with Pirlo suspended for the visit of rock-bottom Reggina on Saturday, Ancelotti revealed that the Brazilian, twice a world player of the year, is still very much in his thoughts.

“Ronaldinho is available, he’s in good form and he’ll be ready if I play him,” said Ancelotti.

“In Glasgow he showed that he’s not been happy being left out and he wanted to show that he wants to play; that’s the reaction a coach wants to see from a player.

“He’s a serious player, he knows how things work in big teams and until now he’s been very professional.

“Of course there are always unhappy players who aren’t playing but this squad is very motivated where everyone is contributing, even if they’re left out.”

Ronaldinho’s problem is not only that Ancelotti has preferred his more compact system rather than using Kaka behind Ronaldinho and Pato, but that the other two Brazilians are in fine form at the moment.

“Right now Pato and Kaka are playing really well, with pace,” added the coach. “They’re on fire and the team is benefitting in attack because they are certainly more unpredictable.”

Milan are looking to close the six-point gap to leaders and neighbours Inter Milan this weekend.

“The difference between us and the leaders is that in three matches which seemed to be won (against Lecce, Torino and Genoa) we cost ourselves six points whereas against Udinese, Reggina and Siena, Inter managed to snatch victory in the last minute,” complained Ancelotti.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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