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Ronaldinho eyes the record books

Published: Wednesday 26 April 2006, 1.42CET
Ronaldinho is desperate to see his FC Barcelona side make European history, starting with their deciding semi-final tie against AC Milan at the Camp Nou.
by Lucas Brown
from Barcelona
Published: Wednesday 26 April 2006, 1.42CET

Ronaldinho eyes the record books

Ronaldinho is desperate to see his FC Barcelona side make European history, starting with their deciding semi-final tie against AC Milan at the Camp Nou.

Ronaldinho has only one desire and that is to help his FC Barcelona side write their own chapter in the club's history as they prepare for a UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against AC Milan.

Glory push
The Brazilian international already has a fine collection of individual and team honours – including a FIFA World Cup winner's medal – but he is desperate to add to Barça's own trophy haul by spearheading Frank Rijkaard's side's push for glory. And following last week's 1-0 victory in Italy, Ronaldinho knows that Wednesday's game is another step towards completing that dream.

'Making history'
"We want to start making our own history and winning important competitions," he said. "We respect those that have had the chance to win this trophy many times, but we want to start doing that too and that can only happen by winning this game. That is an incredible motivation and we have to be well-prepared in order to reach the final."

Chelsea precedent
Despite Barcelona being labelled as favourites due to the slight advantage gained by Ludovic Giuly's goal, Ronaldinho expects a stern challenge from Milan at Camp Nou. He recalled the threat posed by Chelsea FC in similar circumstances in the first knockout round. "We need to have the same focus we had when we played Chelsea, but we have to play like we always do," he said. "We are used to saying that the next game is always the most important, but this time we have the opportunity to make history.

No holding back
"If anything, it will be more difficult in this match because they need to score and they have some great players. We have to use our heads and forget about the first leg. We have to play to win, not to defend the lead we secured in Milan."

Ancelotti acclaim
Visiting coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he believes Ronaldinho is unstoppable, with man-marking the only way to reduce his influence. The 26-year-old does not exactly concur. "There are not unstoppable footballers - everyone has their good days and bad days - but nobody is unstoppable," he said. "Everyone in the team is important and the most important thing is that the team does well. On a personal level, I hope to help take the team to the final."

Quality defenders
With Ancelotti plotting to limit Ronaldinho's input, the coach must decide whether to field Jaap Stam, who played at the San Siro, or bring back Cafu at right-back. The Barça star was full of praise for his compatriot, while recognising the Dutchman's qualities. "Cafu is one of the best-ever full-backs. It is always difficult to face him, but it is the same against Stam, who is also very strong."

Last updated: 26/04/06 22.43CET

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