Until this season I’ve always thought of him as an underachiever, silky skills wrapped in a sulky attitude. But he’s playing the football of his life. Loads of goals, and not simple tap-ins either. Barcelona need Ronaldinho just as much as he needs them. Last night (against Real Sociedad) his confidence bounced around the Nou Camp. Lightning feet, tricks and feints and even one of those look one way and kick the other passes that are doing the showboating rounds.

It doesn’t always come off and like all gifted players, he overlooks the simple pass. In a Barcelona team that is full of pace in Overmars and Saviola, he has reclaimed the El Pivote role, the fulcrum of the team, feeding the runs and exploiting space.

Barcelona are resurgent and trail a knackered looking Real Madrid by six points with El Derbi set for April. They were mid-table at Christmas and Ronaldinho was just finding his feet. He’s found them now and they could yet win it.