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Magician and his goals

YOU CAN be forgiven for believing that Ronaldinho Gaucho will be the star of the World Cup 2006.After all, he is the best player on the planet.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 01:44 IST

YOU CAN be forgiven for believing that Ronaldinho Gaucho will be the star of the World Cup 2006.

After all, he is the best player on the planet.

He, however, denies it. Says there is "room for improvement".

But the man with a perpetual smile on his face does admit to having the desire to find a place among the all-time football greats.

"My dream is to follow in the footsteps of the great players such as Pele, Maradona and Beckenbauer. Win the most titles possible so that one day people remember me as someone who did something important for football," he said in an interview with DPA ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

So, will we get to see any new tricks from him in Germany? "No, I am not reserving anything for the World Cup but I'm always looking for new ways to dribble with the ball -- something that will help me get the better of defences."

And his expectations from the World Cup? "My plan is that it will be the World Cup of the Brazilian team, not me," he said. "The important thing is that Brazil win the tournament for the sixth time. That's my plan. I'm not thinking about anything else."

For all his unique talent -- when in school, he once scored 23 goals in one game -- Ronaldinho does state the obvious at times -- things like, "The World Cup is very important to Brazilian people." So if Brazil return to Brasilia in July without the FIFA World Cup Trophy, would it be considered a failure? Yes. "For Brazilian football, finishing second is the same as finishing last."

But Brazilians know they have a good chance of avoiding such a disaster. After all, they have the Magician in their ranks.