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February 25, 2007

Rijkaard stands by Ronaldinho

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After a tough week, Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard has defended his star player, Ronaldinho Gaucho, over criticism the midfielder is overweight.

As we know, photos taken following Barca's Champions League defeat to Liverpool appeared to show the Brazilian footballer carrying a roll of fat around his waist.

Despite the strong wave of critics, Rijkaard spoke up: "When the photo is taken quite close by, with inadequate light or if there is some movement, it can vary the reality a lot.

"In this instance, for me there are doubts. For me, there's just no problem."

We must consider that Ronaldinho Gaucho was a key influence in Barca's Spanish league title successes in 2005 and 2006 and also helped his team win the UEFA Champions League last season.

What's more, Rijkaard said: "The player has always given great performances, and I have total confidence in him and we should be happy to have him with us.

"It's really sad to see how people change opinion so easily about a player who has given so much to this institution. Thanks to his strength of mind Ronnie has got where he is today, winning titles and prizes on the way."

Despite the bad nights in the last week, Ronaldinho has scored 16 goals for Barca this season. A good number for a midfielder.

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