Andres Iniesta remembers a remarkable event involving Ronaldinho’s mind tricks in his memoir. In 2005, the Brazilian star called his Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta and informed him that he was quitting the club but requested him to keep the information private.
Shortly after, before of a key Clasico encounter against Real Madrid, Ronaldinho confessed it was all a ruse to demonstrate how big this Blaugrana family is.
Barcelona went on to win 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the game that followed on November 19, 2005. Ronaldinho scored twice, earning a standing ovation from the home crowd.
That’s what Iniesta writes in his biography:
“A few days before the Clasico against Real Madrid, ‘Dinho’ called me at home at night. He told me: ‘Andres, I know it’s 3am, but I have to confess something. In June I will be leaving Barca.”
“My brother has an agreement with Real Madrid. It’s an incredible amount that I can’t refuse. You’re young, you can understand… But please do not tell anyone in the locker room or the club, do not betray me, I trust you more than anyone.”
“He didn’t give me time to say anything. The next day, we were in training camp and I felt an awkward atmosphere around me. The whole team was silent and they were all greeting Ronaldinho like never…”
“When the day of the Clasico came, in the locker rooms of Santiago Bernabeu ‘Dinho’ told us: ‘Guys, today is a very important game, they are strong, but these days I discovered that we were like a family. I called each of you during the night and I told you that I was leaving in June, but none of you spoke.
‘After that I realised that we were ready to suffer in silence rather than betray each other. I’ll stay here for a long time… Now let’s go into the field and give a lesson to these players of Real Madrid!'”