I've read a few MLS related message boards today, and have read some of the most ridiculous things about Ronaldinho. As I wrote last night and has been reported since last night, Ronaldinho will most likely be signing with Gremio in Brazil. I've read so many comments about Ronaldinho's career being over now, the Brazilian league being terrible and that he couldn't cut it in MLS, so he picked Brazil. These people were being serious as well. What is the difference between Landon Donovan choosing to stay with LA Galaxy and not go abroad? Or Jay Demerit signing with Vancouver when there were European teams interested in his signature?
I'm not sure if most MLS followers know this, but there are more Brazilians playing abroad than Yanks or Canadians. This is just one node to how strong and technically gifted the Brazilian League is. For a league that continually has their talent plucked from them they are able to regenerate that talent very well.
Throughout the comments I've read people seem to see MLS as a league that is bigger than it is. According to one league ranking system I've seen today, things break down like this:
To be honest I'm quite surprised that MLS would be that high. I find the Japanese J-League to be of very high quality and features players and clubs that rival MLS. I also see Demark, Sweden and Belguim's national leagues as the same quality if not slightly better than MLS. I digress.
This move should help Ronaldinho's slight hopes of making the national team. More importantly it takes him back to Brazil where many Brazilians have returned over the past few years to get their careers back on track. Players such as: Robinho, Roberto Carlos, (Fat) Ronaldo, Juliano Belleti and Adriano have all returned to Brazil and played at a high level. Two of which have returned to Europe (Robinho and Adriano) while the others are content to play out their careers in Brazil where it is warm all year round. Also, has anyone ever been to the Rio Carnival? That's enough to send every Brazilian abroad back home.