"Ronaldinho continues being number one," affirmed the coach: "I hope that he recovers, but I cannot see the future and it depends on many factors; the main thing is the player himself, who must continue working and sacrificing to reach the level that he wants."

Rijkaard tellingly added: "Ronaldinho also makes (Lionel) Messi a better player when they're on the same pitch. When Ronie plays, Messi is always looking to pass to him."