They call it the "silly season" for a reason, because again and again, during every summer transfer window, clubs around the world are linked to high-profile players that are looking for a new challenge. So with news on Monday that Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho has terminated his contract with Atlético Mineiro and is possibly looking to move abroad, speculation immediately centered on his possible destinations within MLS.
This is nothing new for the league. According to reports in 2010 and 2011, the LA Galaxy were seriously interested in the famed midfielder. The former Barcelona and AC Milan star declined to sign stateside on his return to the Americas, and instead settled with Flamengo before reaching his latest stop with Mineiro. Not picked for the Brazilian squad ahead of the recently completed FIFA World Cup, thought has it that Ronaldinho wants to take on one more challenge before retirement.
Enter the San Jose Earthquakes. Since early July, when the MLS summer transfer window for international players opened, team officials have been very clear that they are looking for attacking talent to add to the roster. In recent days, a front-runner to make the move to San Jose is Argentine midfielder Matias Perez Garcia. Media outlets in Argentina have reported that the Tigre man's move to MLS is imminent -- complete with a $2 million transfer fee paid to his former club -- but the Quakes have yet to provide any confirmation. Perhaps...
Perhaps the Earthquakes brain trust had an inside tip that Ronaldinho might become available. In its never ending quest to find a Simon Dawkins-like midfielder, the Brazilian superstar could be the answer. Why go for a 29-year old attacking midfielder that has been called by some a top-ten talent in the Argentine Primera Division when the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year could suddenly be yours. And with a new stadium opening in early 2015, Ronaldinho would just be the signing to push the attention paid to the Quakes into the stratosphere. Heck, expansion side Orlando City SC just signed Kaka. With all that #StadiumMoney on the way, why not Ronaldinho to San Jose?
That very question -- one that the Earthquakes negotiations team will have to decide in the coming days -- was asked of Quakes supporters on Twitter, and the variety of responses was telling. Would the idea of signing the Brazilian be a slam dunk, as it must appear to many, or is the 34-year old a step (or two) too slow for the physical and frenetic pace of MLS? Let's check out some of the responses!
@robertjonas no, I don't think so....not sure what his work rate is like anymore— todd burkett (@quakes1) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas very much so, even at his age he's all class. If we are getting a DP, it should be a player that brings quality & new fans— Roger (@MOMOshwing) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas I sure would! He can bring the world's attention to San Jose! Nothing like opening a shiny new stadium with one of the greatest— Eliseo Sandoval Jr (@jsan408) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas I would like to echo Todd's concern on his work rate. MLS is not Serie A or La Liga where you get tons of time on the ball.— Vega (@futbolmonkey) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas YES— Luke (@QuakesBarca) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas Yes!— Asa (@Asa_Bayern_12) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas phenomenal would be the best word of choice.— QuakesNation (@QuakesNation) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas you think he'd want to play home games at Buck Shaw? I can't really see that one happening.— matt bishop (@stealthbish) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas the best ball handler of all time! I'll take him! I'd take him over kaka and lampard as well.— A-Tray of A Psi Rho (@Jay_Tray) July 28, 2014
@robertjonas Bringing Ronaldinho would be more a marketing move. More likely we'll see him in Orlando with Kaka and maybe Robinho.— Fredy Estrada (@Fredysmart1) July 29, 2014
Well, there does not seem to be any consensus among Earthquakes supporters, though the momentum seems tilted in favor of bringing the Brazilian aboard. Lest there still be any debate, check out the following highlight video to see what the potential new Quake would bring to San Jose. Reinforce your belief or change your mind completely, share your opinion on Ronaldinho signing with the Earthquakes in the comments below.