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Everton's Arteta: Ronaldinho influenced my career

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta says his former PSG teammate Ronaldinho had a big influence on his career.

"I feel lucky by what happened to me in Paris," said Arteta. 'I went from lower league games for Barcelona's reserve team to playing against AC Milan in the Champions League in just a few days.

"My job was to play in front of the back four and give the ball to all these amazing players in front of me: Ronaldinho, Okocha, Laurent Robert, Ali Bernabia, Anelka.

"They didn't run a lot, to be honest, but they were amazing with the ball. I shared a room with Ronaldinho and I loved it. He was a fantastic player who wore the jewellery and the clothes, but away from the pitch he was a sensitive guy.

"He'd tell me before every game to remember how lucky we were to play football and not to let any pressure get to me. He was never put off by criticism. His attitude was 'This is my style and it makes me happy'. It's great because it would be strange to look back on a football career and think you didn't enjoy it.

"I can't even try some of the tricks Ronaldinho did - I would fall over. I remember going out to warm up with him before one match. He put on a crazy juggling show for the fans. The ball didn't hit the ground once in the warm-up. I certainly never got to touch it. He was brilliant."

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Tribal Football Staff

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