Ronaldinho Regrets Basingstoke Snub!
Posted on November 6, 2014
Former Brazil, Barcelona and Milan superstar, Ronaldinho, has admitted for the first time that he deeply regrets snubbing a move to Basingstoke Town earlier this year.
Speaking from his palatial Buckskin residence, a gaunt and remorseful looking Ronaldinho described himself as feeling like Pete Best, the so called fifth Beatle who left the Liverpool popsters shortly before fame and fortune came their way.
“I know how Pete Best must have felt,” said Ronaldihno, “to snub Basingstoke Town shortly before they went top of the Conference South and reached the first round of the FA Cup, makes me feel like Pete did when he saw John, Paul, George and Ringo on Top of the Pops.”
After turning down Basingstoke, Ronaldinho signed a two-year contract with Mexican club Querétaro on 5 September 2014 but admitted a penalty miss in a debut defeat was down to a scrambled mind.
“As I stepped up to take the kick, I thought to myself, I should be at the Camrose not here, and I missed. I felt physically sick. I should have been with the Basingstoke boys enjoying a 4-0 thrashing of Bath; who knows, I might have even scored!”
Basingstoke Regret: Ronaldinho
Asked how he feels about Town getting to the first round proper, Ronaldinho insists he is not bitter.
“Telford have great FA Cup pedigree and to play them in front of 1500 partisan fans would have been right up there with the Barcelona matches with Real Madrid, but it wasn’t to be.”
“They (Telford) are bottom of the Conference right now but I really hope the lads are aware that they are a wounded giant and will possess a threat all over the pitch. Telford have great players who have not become bad overnight but I am sure Brizzer (Jason Bristow) is aware of that.”
Asked why he decided to turn down Basingstoke, Ronaldinho was remarkably candid.
“I looked around the squad and wondered where Brizzer would fit me in. With players like Manny and Floody (Chris Flood) in the squad, my chances, at 34, would have been limited.
“At this stage of my career I need games and when I heard Harps (James Harper) was likely to sign, I knew I would be on the bench. I Remember Harps at Reading…he was the best I have seen since Ray Wilkins when it came to a five yard sideways pass. It was like watching precision engineering.”
Asked if he will be watching the game on Saturday, Ronaldinho bit his upper lip, tilted his head, and gazed out on to the sprawling estate and the stunning lead grey November sky.
“I just don’t know,” he said eventually, “Of course I want the lads to win but knowing I should be out there will hurt like Hell. I think I will go fishing on the Basingstoke Canal or maybe just have a mooch around Festival Place…but maybe, just maybe, I will turn up and cheer the boys along.”
So, don’t be surprised if you see a familiar face at the Camrose on Saturday and it won’t be the fifth Beatle.
Just don’t call him Pete Best!
Basingstoke Town v Telford: FA Cup First round, Saturday 8th November 2014 3.00pm at the Camrose