Before New York was all-in on the youth movement and before the exodus of superstar Thierry Henry, the Red Bulls were interested in bringing another legend into the fold. That legend was Brazilian attacker and global superstar Ronaldinho. The former Barcelona and AC Milan star was a target that could have shifted the balance of power in Major League Soccer but alas, it wasn't to be.
The story from El Futbolero USA details how negotiations with the Brazilian star took a turn for the ridiculous when demands became more so about lifestyle than money or sporting interest.
It was a different time for New York who were seeming linked to every big name around the world. The team had the likes of Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Rafa Marquez and Juninho. The idea of a youth moment was the furthest thing from their minds, so signing a player like Ronaldinho seemed a solid move for the club.
Known for his lavish lifestyle, Ronaldinho had developed a reputation with being a known purveyor of the nightlife scene. He hoped to continue that in one of the biggest party cities in the world, New York City. Ultimately New York declined that direction which turned out to be the right decision. The club negotiated with the World Cup veteran but found it difficult to proceed when his demands included the club accepting his party-boy persona in writing.
That, along with his declining productivity made it a difficult choice for a club that had already seen a fair share of issues with big-name players to that point. The two parties couldn't come to an agreement and went their separate ways. Ronaldinho eventually signed with the Liga MX club Queretaro but was relatively unproductive scoring eight goals in 25 games.
While the Red Bulls have shifted directions in 2015, there has been on-field success with two more Supporters Shield winning-seasons. Need for a player like Ronaldoinho became less necessary. The team has yet to lift MLS Cup but their direction is more apparent as big name players at the end if their careers are less inclined to join the New York club.