Yes, that is correct, St Mirren and Ronaldinho in the same sentence. Many would presume this to be a transfer spoof, but it was anything but in 2001.
St Mirren launched an audacious bid for out of contract Gremio star Ronaldinho, who had just secured a £15 million pound move to Paris Saint Germain.
The Buddies wanted to help the Brazilian adjust to Europe, by offering him the chance to play in front of the glitz and glamour at Love Street for a few months.
The move collapsed due to the iconic midfielder being involved in legal issues.
Poor Stephen McPhee didn’t stand a chance when he signed instead of Ronaldinho, with his name forever being associated with the Brazilian’s. One must wonder, how St Mirren managed to contact the Samba star in the first place.
What would have happened if Ronaldinho ended up in Paisley?
Ronaldinho wasn’t a complete unknown when the Buddies were linked with him. Even when his name was tied with St Mirren in 2001, you would have laughed.
The man who made the Bernabeu clap for a Barcelona player gave serious consideration to a move to Paisley. He stalled and the deal fell through. Ronaldinho didn’t do too bad afterwards.
Just a year later, he scored the iconic free kick against England at the 2002 World Cup. He then went on to sign for Barcelona, and revitalised the Catalan giants, sparking their era of European dominance.
If the Brazillian had ended up in Paisley, would that have happened? Probably not, so Buddies fans should take pride from the fact they influenced this generation’s greatest side.
The man who loved a night out could have settled nicely in Paisley. He partied hard during his career, but this begs the question, would Ronaldinho be satisfied with a night of partying at Vienna’s?
The footballing icon’s stamp on football is somewhat overshadowed by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He was the player youngsters looked up to for inspiration, pleasing crowds around the world.
In a parallel universe, he could have done that for St Mirren.