“Ronaldinho was the most special for me when I watched him play for Barcelona,” Willian told Standard Sport ahead of tonight’s clash. “He was my idol and the footballer I wanted to be. I always watched him play, he was amazing. For me he was not only the best Brazilian player, but the best ever player, full stop.
“Even though Lionel Messi has been named the best player five times (Ballon D’Or) Ronaldinho is better in my opinion, even though he won it just the once.
“What made him so special for me? It was the kind of things he used to do on the pitch, the way he acted. He was always happy and played with a smile on his face. He had fun when he played. Of course, he still played with responsibility and wanted to win.
“But to play football you have to be happy. You can’t play unhappy. If you are not happy, you can’t do your best. Ronaldinho summed this up for me.”