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Ronaldinho opens up on his 'close' relationship with Lionel Messi at Barcelona

  /  autty

Ronaldinho has lifted the lid on his close relationship with former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi and explained how the two were perfectly in-sync on the pitch.

The Brazil legend, often regarded as one of the finest talents of his generations, played with Messi for five years between 2003-08 during his time at Barcelona.

Ronaldinho and Messi went on to form a formidable partnership and helped Barcelona to win several trophies, including two La Ligas and the Champions League before the 2002 World Cup winner departed for AC Milan.

The 39-year-old, who hung up his boots in 2015, has revealed that he and Messi formed a bond almost immediately.

'When I arrived at Barcelona, there was already talk of a kid who stood out,' Ronaldinho told Panenka magazine.

'Then we were friends; we started playing together and got on very well. He arrived being different to all the others, and we spoke with [Frank] Rijkaard so that he came to train with us - it was all very fast.

'I was lucky enough to give him the pass for his first goal. Over time, it's very nice to see someone who starts out so close to you and then conquers the world.'

Ronaldinho said their chemistry grew over time, and praised the six-time Ballon d'Or winner for his attitude on and off the the pitch.

He added: 'We were always very close. We learned things, he taught me Spanish and I taught him Portuguese, but with the ball we understood each other perfectly.

'I'd be left amazed by how calm he is. That's something I love about him; he never gets into trouble, he's always with his family and those closest to him. Leo has everything, he didn't need anything from me.'

Related: BarcelonaMessi