With five goals and seven assists in ten games of the Copa Libertadores that comes to an end this Saturday, Ronielson da Silva Barbosa, ‘Rony’, number 11 of Palmeiras, appears as a firm candidate for the title of most outstanding player of this tournament.
The final of the Libertadores, this Saturday between Palmeiras and Santos, It will be like another of the many battles that this extreme has already faced, which He made his professional debut seven years ago at the small club Remo, from the Amazon city of Belém.
But His football began to shine brightly in 2018, when he was signed by Athletico Paranaense.
The one today in day is one of the main scorers of Palmeiras He was born 25 years ago in Magalhaes Barata, an impoverished municipality in the Amazonian state of Pará, whose capital is Belém, a region where he grew up deprived and went hungry.
Abandoned from an early age by his father and then his mother, Rony and his four brothers grew up in the country with their grandmother, who died when they were still children and had to manage to survive next to their grandfather.
Rony helped him peel the manioc that he planted on the ground where the narrow mud house of Vila Quadro stood.
With no toys and not even a good pair of shoes, what Rony didn’t miss from the start was a ball to kick.
The skills in front of the opposing goal were glimpsed since childhood but only until he was 17 years old did he manage to join the rowing machine.
In Belém, the capital of Pará, to survive Rony worked as a laborer, motorcycle messenger and mechanic assistantTrades that he only abandoned in 2014 when he made his professional debut at that club.
After being two-time champion from Paraná, Rony was signed by Cruzeiro and later loaned to Náutico, where he caught the attention of Japanese football after scoring 11 goals in the Brazilian Second Division Championship.
With Albirex Niigata he played for a year and he returned to Brazil in 2018 to play for Botafogo, a reality that was never fulfilled due to problems in the negotiations between the Japanese and the Rio de Janeiro club.
The situation led to the winger almost signing with Corinthians, but it was Athletico Paranaense his next season and where he began to shine strongly.
Between 2018 and 2019 he played 73 games, scored 13 goals and won three cups: Sudamericana, Copa do Brasil and Copa de la J.Ligue-Conmebol.
The performance of ‘Rústico’ caught the attention of Palmeiras, who did not hesitate to invest more than 26 million reais (about 4.8 million dollars) to sign him for four years. However, Rony did not get off to a good start.
He was even mocked for months for his continual mistakes on the pitch, attributed in part to the decisions of then-manager, former Brazilian coach Vanderley Luxemburg.
Everything changed for the extreme about three months ago with the arrival of Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira. Then he gained prominence with his speed, one of his most precious skills.
Since then, Rony went from bowing his head to standing proud at every encounter.