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Remembering Rivaldo

The bicicleta, the Barcelona years and those classy white Mizuno

Remembering Rivaldo The bicicleta, the Barcelona years and those classy white Mizuno

Talking about Rivaldo is going back, think back to that ex with whom you were well, it was all beautiful, then you tried to get the story a bit 'too much, and it was not over well; talking about Rivaldo is nostalgia, but not that nostalgia that makes you say "Rivaldo was better than Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo", no: Rivaldo is the nostalgia of a clear, bright past, to which you can no longer find fault. And in which you would like to damn return.

Talking about Rivaldo is talking about trophies, personal and team. Two out of all, to describe the greatness: the Ballon d’Or and the World Cup won as co-protagonist. In 2002 Rivaldo was one of the strongest players in the world, he played in one of Brazil's strongest ever, he scored in all the disputed games, the final part, and in any case did not conquer the scene, taken by another that led the ending in -aldo and with his feet he knew how to do it.

Talking about Rivaldo is talking about a different way of understanding the attack and the offensive front as a whole, an area of ​​the field that opened up out of control first in his mind and then on the grass, with the virtual size of the land that was widening and he squeezed himself according to his will, his phenomenon whims. Talking about Rivaldo also means talking about his dribbling, steering and opponents left behind to wonder why.



To talk about Rivaldo is to talk about the Deportivo, indeed, of that Deportivo: it was the 1996/1997 season, the first of the Brazilian in Europe, and its light shone as a ring shines just shown to the future bride: the European football world has responded to the question of Rivaldo, he said yes, he agreed to marry that boy who seemed already great, with hard somatic features and that made everyone crazy in the field. At the end of the season the loot will be 21 goals, with the third place of Deportivo in Liga. An explosion such as to convince Barcelona to take it away from there and put the knitwear on it. With only one task: do not regret Ronaldo.

So talking about Rivaldo is talking about Barcelona, ​​where its green and gold light has lit up the Camp Nou several times, with some peaks of brilliance that for a moment made people think no, no other footballer existed, in the world there was only Rivaldo, and his goals and his play. One of those moments was certainly the hat-trick scored under the sky of a San Siro who probably, that evening, caressed for the first time the idea of ​​stealing his wife from Barcelona.

With the jersey blaugrana will take the field 235 times, scoring 130 goals, serving 41 assists, will win the Liga for two consecutive years and will also raise the Ballon d'Or. In five years of history blaugrana and among all those networks, the best gift of Rivaldo at Barcelona maybe this is: a game that speaks for itself and tells us who was Rivaldo and what was for Barcelona.

It was true love, anyway.


Che niente dura per sempre, figurati io e te sing the Baustelle, the same words that Rivaldo will have said to Barcelona at the moment of farewell. A greeting a bit 'so, for a story that could never have a peaceful closure. No great romance can have a quiet closure, otherwise what kind of great romance would it be?

And then the Rivaldo pilgrimage began in search of new words, but in Milan he found an unexpected ("humiliation") and then flew to Greece, he remained there three years to win everything and have fun with Olympiacos.

Then a parenthesis at AEK Athene and another round of the world (Uzbekistan). Finally, the return to Brazil at 37, as a player but also as president of Mogi Mirim, club in which he played as a child. Without any desire to hang the shoes on the nail to leave the kick that had given him so much, and to which he had given at least the same. Rivaldo, suitcase in hand, continued dangling on the ball from one side to the other, with its immense physical structure that hindered its agility but paradoxically praised its technique. From head to toe, a genius applied to football that knew how to hide its size and make it suddenly light, and then exploit it in its favor in the shoulder to shoulder contrasts. Rivaldo glided on the field, barely touched the ground with his iconic Mizuno at his feet, a perfect shoe for him, consistent with his aesthetic.


Talking about Rivaldo is also talking about a long, very long, perhaps too long sunset, but this could only be decided by him, who chose to continue to the bitter end: San Paolo, Angola, a new return to Brazil, the closure still at Mogi Mirim, a gigantic circle that finally finds its end.

It's 2014, Rivaldo is 42 years old, there has been a lot of talk about him, but now the spotlights are elsewhere. He decides to retire, indeed no, he comes back again in 2015, when the years are 43. He does not give up, Rivaldo, and while Barcelona has found love again (which this time speaks Argentinian), he won and was happy even without Rivaldo. Which, however, was consoled by a rare event, very rare, the triumph of football applied to the family: before saying really enough played a game with his son Rivaldinho, in which both went in goal.


Speaking of Rivaldo, in short, is talking about football and all its faces, all its stories, the lighted sides and the shadows, a triplet to San Siro and a long, long retreat. As if that story never ends.

Like a great love story.