Former Brazil and Barcelona star Ronaldinho was joined by an all-star cast of footballing legends to take on a group of Eintracht Frankfurt legends in a charity match at Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena stadium on Saturday.
The 38-year-old chose the venue because it was where he won his last major title at international level as a player, lifting the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup as captain after helping Brazil beat Argentina 4-1 in the final. "It's a wonderful stadium and it was a great achievement – the only bad thing was the weather," Ronaldinho said of the match. The fixture in Frankfurt on Saturday formed the first part of the player's farewell tour, having retired from professional football in January this year. He has stated his desire to hold benefit games across the globe in order to help disadvantaged children. The proceeds from this match will go to German charity "RTL – Wir helfen Kindern" (We help children).
Watch: Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena up close
The game itself, titled Ronaldinho & Friends vs. Adler All Stars, featured a selection of players hand-picked by Ronaldinho himself. The Brazilian invited a number of faces that will be familiar to Bundesliga followers to join his team, including Torsten Frings (Bayern and Bremen), Kevin Kuranyi (Stuttgart and Schalke),Kevin-Prince Boateng, Marco Russ and Bum-kun Cha as coach.
"I'm so grateful to Frankfurt and Germany for hosting this match. The fans were amazing and it was a fantastic day," Ronaldinho told Sport1 after the match.
As it happened
The match was a thriller with nine goals scored between the sides, finishing 5-4 in favour of Ronaldinho and friends, and Ronaldinho was his entertaining self showing off flicks and tricks throughout a 85-minute match in which he played for both sides.