Football: Ronaldinho feels unloved as vanity rules Barcelona

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IT SEEMS that not even the lopsided smile and the radiant talent of Ronaldinho can burn away the jealousies and the vanities of those who attach themselves to football.

Real Madrid didn't want the Brazilian because he wasn't pretty enough. He wouldn't, they reckoned, sell as many shirts as David Beckham. But do the Barca hierarchy rejoice in the stupidity of their bitter rivals? No, the word is that a disillusioned Ronaldinho may be leaving the city he has come to love after getting caught in the middle of a boardroom battle. One official offered the thought that Ronaldinho, despite guiding Barca to a seven-point lead in La Liga, was lucky to be voted world footballer of the year.

Sometimes you can only weep for the game that against all the odds still, from time to time, manages to entrance the world.