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Should the Red Bulls go after Ronaldinho?



The minute Ronaldinho severed ties with Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro on Monday morning, you just knew the links to Major League Soccer would resurface.

This time around, it is the New York Red Bulls looking like a perfect fit for the skilled playmaker, and after seeing Barcelona star Xavi return to Europe after a flirtation with MLS, all eyes are waiting to see if Ronaldinho will be the latest star to sign in MLS, or pass on it.

As things stands, there are no concrete reports of an MLS move in Ronaldinho’s future, but in my latest column, I break down why the Red Bulls should absolutely make  a play for the former Barcelona and AC Milan star.

In the column, I also reveal that Red Bulls officials met with representatives for Ronaldinho during the World Cup. Nothing came of those meetings, but you have to wonder if the club might not reconsider given the uncertain future of Thierry Henry.

So here is the question for SBI readers. Do you think the Red Bulls should sign Ronaldinho?

Cast your vote after the jump:

  • Yes. He’d be a great fit with the Red Bulls
  • No. Signing Ronaldinho would be a disaster


How did you vote? Do you think he would be a good fit in MLS? See him being a good partner for Henry, or see him more as a replacement?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ronaldinho injured, drunk, tired and at the age of 40 would play better than any MLS player at the moment is just a fact…two years ago he went to Atletico Mineiro in Brazil a mediocre club with no international titles… he was the main player and game changer in that club and they won copa Libertadores (Champions League of South America) the most important international title in South America, and gave Atletico Mineiro a boost in the Fifa ranking…so to say that he is no good to MLS is a very naive statement…

    • No!!! There are no shades of grey here! It’s black or white! Pick a side you communist! Communist? Yes, communist! Why? I don’t know, you just are. Dang, I’m all hopped up on Mountain Dew.

  2. I think Ives brought back some of the good stuff from Brazil, cuz surely he’s smoking something. Dinho seems like EXACTLY the type of player that would join MLS for a paycheck and give zero effort on the pitch. He would be a disaster indeed. MLS 1.0 thinking.

  3. i’m reading that he is asking for $4M a year! dude only made $1.2M in Brazil. no wonder NYRB are being reported as not interested anymore.

  4. he is not really what NYRB need. Their ideal dp signing is a player in or right before his prime that helps them get the most out of Henry and eventually takes over the spotlight.

    Ronaldinho is not this player. Roughly at the same point in his career (a contract away from retiring), not the athlete that can carry this team, or the collaborative teammate that complements Henry. He is an offensive specialist, forward/wing/attacking mid, similar to Henry.

    That said it would be amazing to see those two working together and crowds that would gather to see it. Unless there is someone else that is ready to sign and fix all of NYRB’s needs I would say go for it!

    Also to think about; bring Ronaldinho in and let the Henry-Ronaldinho fiesta last through the playoffs and ccl group stages and possibly into the 2015 season when the noisy neighbors bomb their first season.. If Henry decides to retire you have a very similar player under contract to take his place on the field (dinho) while you look to invest in a younger dp.

  5. They should do it only to draw crowds from down the street in the Ironbound, an area chock full of Brazillians. Also, Henry and Cahill are on their way out, so they gotta do something to compete with NYCFC.

  6. FYI, FC Dallas just dumped Andrew Jacobsons 200k salary on NYCFC for a 2016 3rd round draft pick.

    Not sure this jives with FCDs overall needs right now, but we’ve been screaming for a big name for years in Dallas, perhaps we get our wish in the form of Ronaldinho?

    Personally I think a move for Gooch or Jones could be coming as we need the help at Dmid and CB due to injuries.

  7. I cannot come close to being rational about Ronaldinho, he was the first player who made me love watching the game, I bought a UEFA subscription to watch the champions league online so I could watch him. I want him to come to the Red Bulls, whether it is a good idea or not, who knows.

  8. I think he would fit in better at DC United as a CAM, with Espindola and GAM up top, Kichen in D-Mid, Deleon on one wing and Silva/Pontius? on the other.

  9. This is a pointless conversation unless you factor in money. Is he worth the risk for a short term, 1 million dollar a year contract? Probably.
    Is he worth the risk $3-5 million? No.
    Remember, this is the guy who turned into a lazy party animal the second he became the world’s best player and started earning serious money.
    He could be exactly the type of player that MLS is trying to avoid…the one that treats it as a retirement league.

  10. Absolutely get him on a 2 year deal. Set aside the jersey sales, ticket sales (home and away), and the marketing war with NYCFC, all of which would justify his signing by themselves (especially with no transfer fee). Ronaldinho would be a dramatic improvment on the field in exactly the creative midfield role they lack and would allow Henry to move back to full-time striker, where he remains lethal, while easing the burden on his legs. No, he isn’t Ronny from ’06 or even ’12 when he led Galo to the Copa Lib title. No, he doesn’t defend much or run as much anymore. But he remains at least one level above many recent DP signings in terms of talent, and in exactly the spot Red Bulls need (and have needed for years). Unless his wage demands are outrageous, or unless their is another vialbe candidate for the third DP spot that makes more sense (and there does not seem to be), this is a no brainer.

    • Why do they need an attacking midfielder? I hear people say this all the time. They score plenty of goals but the defense is horrendous.

      The other reasons you give are non-soccer reasons. Personally, I think winning would attract more fans than signing another washed up “name.”

      • Red Bulls have enough striker-type talent to score 3 goals every time, but the lacks midfield creativityto get them ball, which is why Henry has been doing it. Ronny fits a spot they have needed for years. See above for the rest…

      • I don’t really see the need to play that way. They create a ton of chances and score a lot of goals. I almost never feel like they’re out of a game. Even the game when they fell behind 5-2 to Chicago. They almost managed a draw in that one. On the other hand, I never feel like any game is safe because the defense is so flimsy and error prone.

    • Also, who does he replace in the lineup? Henry and BWP play up top and so you have what Ronaldinho and Cahill in central midfield? Not much defensive cover there, plus this “solution” continues to misuse Cahill. Or Ronaldinho and Dax with Cahill on the bench?

      • Ronny on the other wing with opposite Sam, with Ronny roaming to the middle. Henry and BWP up top. Dax and Cahill remain in the middle. Not complicated.

      • Maybe that would work but they’re going to have to win every game 4-3. This move would be about non-soccer aspects of the club rather than winning.

      • ————–BWP———–
        Henry ————–Llyod S

        —–Dax ——-Cahill

        Defensive back four—
        And goalie ———

        They can if they get rid of 4-4-2 Cahill is the type of guy that will play where ever it being it’s the team mad Dax would need to stop trying to push forward and sit his ass back and cover the back four . Just make the simple pass to dinho or cahil to get forward .

      • This is what we need to be looking into.



  11. I think ronaldinho needs MLS and MLS needs him.
    Some of the dps that have come to MLS have refreshen their careers and made come backs. You have Beckham that still went on to play in Milan, psg and could of made the World Cup, blanco who came to MLS and all the mexican media called him a fat soccer boy but made it big and recover his career, Henry who was lost and could of left for a big team, Marquez who was also lost and took advantage of MLS and went back to Mexico and won titles, davino from from fc Dallas recover in MLS and won championships in Mexico.
    Therefore ronaldinho would benefit from MLS, they can get him on a diet, back to his physical strength, back to an active soccer healthy life. Obviously it won’t be a perfect situation but both parties need each other and ronaldinho could use MLS fitness technology.
    But with all respect to red bulls, I think your name of red bull will stop big dps from coming and will look at nycfc as the big fish. Imagine, hey Fernando Torres, nycfc and red bull want u. How about hey, nycfc and cosmos want u or how about, hey nycfc and New Jersey metro stars wants u.

      • Stop being a smarty pants buddy, this is not the New York time or journalism 1300 🙂
        I also read galaxy, crew, fc Dallas are looking for a big DP signing.
        There’s jones, ronaldinho, Sasha, mix, onyewu. Who will go where and who is willing to spend.
        Too bad Chicago, Philly, Denver, Houston, and other MLS markets are cheap.

    • I’d definitely like to see Ronaldinho in MLS if he has anything left. I have said in previous posts that I think this move is likely 2 years too late, but admittedly haven’t seen him play in a while.

      That said, if the following quote by El Paso is the context of the deal…. nnnnot so much. They’re trying to grow a credible soccer league, not pay aging stars millions to come to fat camp.

      “Therefore ronaldinho would benefit from MLS, they can get him on a diet, back to his physical strength, back to an active soccer healthy life.”

  12. The Red Bulls have scored the second most goals in the league this season. They don’t need another attacking player, nor should they consider fixing what isn’t broken and start playing with a #10 behind two strikers. What they need to do is fix their horrendous defense, which is good for a blooper reel level gaffe at last once or twice a game.

    NYCFC is going to pay Lampard $8m a year. Imagine how good a center back RBNY could get for even half that.

    • I have yet to see a DP central defender worth DP money or the use of the spot. Get a great offensive talent who can hold possession and create goals, and the defensive gaffe’s aren’t as costly. Red Bulls aren’t getting wins because they can’t put weaker teams away.

      • What do you mean? You don’t think you could get a good CB to come over from Europe for $4m-$5m a year? I don’t have a name for you but I’m sure you could find plenty of viable candidates.

        This team concedes early goals all the time and it seems like they can only win if they score 3 or 4 goals. Ronaldinho won’t solve anything even if he plays well.

        Good teams can win games 1-0 or even 2-1. If they were serious about winning, they’d sign a defender. But if all they care about is jersey sales and having a name player then they’ll sign him.

      • I guess we just differ on how they can win games. I think adding a player like Ronny increases their chances of winning more than adding a central defender. Their defense is good enough if their offense produces at its potential with Henry in a striker role getting service.

      • What you and many don’t realize is that redbulls defensive woes are as a result of poor midfield play. They can’t keep quality possession of the ball so they keep passing the ball backwards and always has the defenders who are not very technical on edge . Recipe for disaster ..Dax mcarty is trash Asa holder player .. Terrible passing and positioning . Cahill
        Is not a central midfielder .. can’t hold possession bit atleast he makes better passing decisions than Dax . This is where red bull has a problem . The will always score goals when you have great individually talented attackers Liike Henry, Lloyd Sam and Cahill who makes chances in their own to be finished well y phillips. They don’t score from build up play .. Always individual brilliance . That’s why they fail against the best teams in the league because good teams don’t Allow individual brilliance to break them down . They will flop again in the plAy offs unless the can get a quality ball handler a defensive midfielder who knows his role . I’m at work forgive my typos .. :

      • I agree the midfield play is poor and that’s a part of their defensive problems. So, if they signed someone like Jermaine Jones, I think that would be a good fit.

        Last year in the playoffs they were up 2-0 in the first leg away from home against Houston. But they made a bunch of ridiculous mistakes and managed to blow that lead. Sure, I guess they could have scored even more goals to make up for those mistakes but realistically that’s not how teams win championships.

      • Jermaine Jones would be an awesome signing for RBNY.

        Pay that man his money and get him signed up.

    • Agreed. Certainly Ronaldinho would help the team – he would help every team in MLS – but RB could make a much bigger impact signing for half the price if they addressed the defense.

  13. He would be great for a year in a half contract. I wouldn’t give him a 3 or 4 year deal. Red Bulls want to spend in the Cahill range for a DP, however, Henry is probably gone after this year so it makes sense to get a big name.

  14. Ives mentioned in his article that Ronaldinho doesn’t speak English. RBNY should sign him just for the pure comedy of the RBNY beat writers trying to interview him.

    Anybody remember Joel Santana when he was coaching South Africa? this would be great.

  15. Need more poll choices, something in the middle. I I think he’d be a success from a fan and marketing standpoint, flash some skill on the field, but may lack on the physical/ fitness side to dominate. He would fill a key area of need, so that would be an upgrade. Not sure where to answer with that, but I can think of other players who may be within reach who could be as or more successful on these dimensions.

  16. I’d rather be stuck in a room full of Landon Donovan 2014 World Cup truthers for the rest of my life than have Dinho in MLS. DISASTER.

    • “In MLS” is pretty broad. There’s not 1 of the ~20 that can use him? Will he win it all for RBNY? I doubt it, and that should be their recruitment goal because City is about to complicate their lives if they don’t win soon. But can’t help anyone?

      • I’m sure he could help a few teams, but he’s not worth the money it’d take to sign him. That would be like the Lampard signing but way worse. Pay him the league minimum and he’s got a deal.

    • NE Revs, I’ve noted that down in your file. On more important matters, is anyone else looking at the red “fitness Singles” ad? I see a chick on a bike with a yellow helmet and green water bottle out in nature. She’s smoking!

      • If the ad has a blue flag, then it’s an “Ad Choices” which means it’s based on your internet activity. It likely means you like to work out and are lonely. I’ll put that down in your file. 😉

      • hahaha, that last sentence was a lovely tonic.

        At first I thought Josiah meant that a lady on a bike in nature was smoking on a cigarette. it actually might still be the case, and he is also addicted to cancer sticks. better make a note of that, just to be safe.

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