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Page last updated at 21:09 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 22:09 UK

Ronaldinho excited by Milan move

Ronaldinho drew a massive crowd to the San Siro stadium
Ronaldinho drew a massive crowd to the San Siro stadium

Brazil star Ronaldinho has been unveiled to fans and the media at the San Siro stadium after completing his move from Barcelona to AC Milan.

The 28-year-old insisted he was fully fit despite concerns about his lifestyle and attitude in Spain.

"I have always lived a regular life and I will continue like that. I am in good physical condition," he said.

"Every player dreams of playing for Milan. It is a special emotion and I hope to bring happiness to the fans."

Thousands of fans turned up at the stadium to welcome Ronaldinho to the club, with the San Siro nearly half full.

"I already feel at home here," he added, speaking in Portuguese.

"It was a beautiful period (at Barcelona), we won important trophies but after recent disappointments we decided together to go our separate ways.

"Here I can go back to being happy and to reaching new personal and team objectives."

Ronaldinho, who rejected a move to Manchester City, said he was particularly looking forward to playing alongside his Brazil team-mate Kaka at Milan.

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BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson
"It will be exciting to play with Kaka. He is among the best in the world. He is also a friend and we play well together," he said.

Ronaldinho underwent a medical in Milan on Wednesday and signed a contract that will keep him at the Serie A club to the end of the 2010-11 season.

City had reportedly bid 25.5m for the player, but AC Milan are believed to have paid considerably less for him.

Rossoneri fans snapped up 5,230 season tickets on Wednesday alone, following news of Ronaldinho's imminent arrival.

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes said his disappointment at missing out on the star had been eased by the club's show of ambition.

"We presented our case as well as we possibly could and the fact that we are in there trying to get one of the top players in the world shows where we want to go," he said.

"I don't know the finer details of the negotiations, but the way the Ronaldinho deal was constructed was a little bit different by all accounts to an ordinary deal, so my budget would not have been affected as much as people think."

Reports suggested that Ronaldinho's negotiating team were ultimately unimpressed by a financial package from City that was heavily weighted with clauses relating to performance, success and marketing.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Milan will pay Barcelona just 14.6m for his services, with the figure likely to be increased by performance-related bonuses.

The two-time Fifa World Player of the Year's time at Barcelona effectively came to an end in June when new manager Pep Guardiola announced the playmaker was surplus to requirements.

Ronaldinho helped Barcelona win back-to-back Spanish league titles (2004-05, 2005-06) and the Champions League in 2006, but failed to cement a regular place in the starting XI last season because of injury and fitness problems.




see also
Ronaldinho gets Olympics go-ahead
16 Jul 08 |  Football
Man City hopeful over Ronaldinho
03 Jul 08 |  Man City


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