Ronaldinho Chose Sneakers Over Cleats For Copa Lib Match On Artificial Turf

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

In the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana at Estadio Caliente last night, Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro escaped with a comeback 2-2 draw. Ronaldinho himself started and played 90 minutes on Estadio Caliente’s artificial surface, though he didn’t make much of a mark. Perhaps that’s because the Brazilian star eschewed the traditional footwear, replete with studs, for a pair of tennis shoes*. Or, if you prefer, sneakers. Bright orange sneakers, to be precise.

Goal’s Zac Lee Rigg was in attendance at Estadio Caliente.

The turf is unnatural, like the sensation of petting a xolo, the local hairless dog the team is named after. Gilberto Silva, now a central defender, slipped in his own box to cough up the ball for Riascos to open the scoring. Tijuana piled on the pressure in the first half.

Ronaldinho, who has 97 caps for Brazil, took an innovative approach to the hurdle that threatened to trip up his team: he wore bright orange sneakers.

“He played with tennis shoes not cleats,” Cuca confirmed.

Silva moaned a bit about the surface after the fact, though it’s notable Atletico Mineiro did what no other side had done in Tijuana in the competitions: score.

Here are the full highlights from the game:

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*Update: Okay, so they probably weren’t “tennis shoes” exactly. More like indoor soccer shoes. And thanks to one KCKRS reader, we know which ones.

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