The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ronaldinho better than Beckham: Denilson

Madrid: Barcelona’s new signing Ronaldinho is in a different class to Real Madrid’s latest acquisition David Beckham, according to Brazilian forward Denilson.

“Ronaldinho is far better than Beckham,” the Real Betis player was quoted as saying in a Spanish sports daily on Tuesday.

“No one doubts that Beckham strikes the ball as well as anyone else in the world, but he doesn’t beat men or have the individual close control.

“On the other hand, Ronaldinho has a host of other skills as well as being able to shoot well at goal. He has been demonstrating it ever since he started out at Gremio and will always be a different class of player.”

Both players have made promising starts at their new clubs. Ronaldinho, who joined Barcelona from Paris St Germain last month, turned in a series of eye-catching performances against high-class opponents AC Milan, Juventus and Manchester United on the club’s pre-season tour of the US.

Beckham, who cost Real five million euros more than the Brazilian, has also appeared to settle in quickly , scoring his first goal for his new club in the 3-0 victory against FC Tokyo on Tuesday.

But Denilson, who bore the onerous tag as the world’s most expensive player when he moved from Sao Paulo to Betis for $35 million in 1997, believes that although Beckham was Barcelona’s first choice signing, the Catalans got a better deal when they ended up buying Ronaldinho.

“Barcelona have gained much more by getting Ronaldinho than Real have by buying Beckham,” he said. “He (Ronaldinho) is a quality player, gives lots of scoring passes and always does something to help the team.” (Reuters)

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