With even the likes of Joan Laporta taking time out in his latest press conference to confirm the signing of Ronaldinho’s son, Joao Mendes, with the Barcelona youth team, it remains no secret that there exist sky-high expectations of this fabled hero’s child.
Ronaldinho’s son has already made his debut with a merged team of Juvenil A and Juvenil B that recently just faced the youth team of Manchester United in a behind-closed-doors friendly match that took place at the Joan Gamper Sports City.
FC Barcelona have established that this friendly exists as a form of preparation for their actual objective ahead: The upcoming Round of 16 tie against AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Youth League.
The player clearly showcased both glimpses of talent as well as a clear need for time involving adapting to a new system and a new breed of football in Europe. Despite being the son of an icon of the game, the boy is still growing into a better professional and must be treated patiently.
The shadow casted by the legacy of his father is no small eclipse. As President Joan Laporta himself stated: “The pressure that the boy has is very great because Ronaldinho has been one of the best in history. The boy has pressure, but it is the job of our coaches to develop his skills.” This clearly indicates that the club understands his pressure well and is willing to be patient with his development.
Expected to bolster the depth of Juvenil A as of right now, the player comes into a new setup in the middle of an ongoing season and thus understandably still needs an adaptation period in which he can better hone his ability and understanding of this rather new kind of football to him.