Ronaldinho: “I didn’t change the history of Barcelona”

first_imgRonaldo de Assis Moreira ‘Ronaldinho’, the striker who gave impetus to the Barcelona of Frank Rijkaard and Joan Laporta, says it is “a pride” to hear that Barça’s history changed, but does not agree: “It was not me, it was a group of players who were going through a great moment. ” In an interview published in the January issue of the magazine ‘Panenka’, Ronaldinho recalls that in Barcelona “everything was very nice” from day one, from the first game. “It was more than special,” he said. He said that it is not only in Barcelona where he has been happy, but that he has generally been “playing football”. As for Leo Messi, Ronaldinho recalls that when he arrived at Barça “there was already talk of a child” who stood out among the little ones. “Then we were friends, we started playing together and we got along very well. He came to be different from everyone else, and we talked with Rijkaard to come and train with usIt was all very fast. I was lucky to give him the pass of his first goal. Over time, it is very nice to see someone who starts and then conquers the world so close, “he recalls. Ronaldinho comments that Messi did not leave him any particular teaching. “We were always very friends, we learned things from day to day, he taught me Spanish and I Portuguese, but with the ball we understood each other perfectly. I would stay with how calm he is. That is something I love about him, I never know he gets in trouble, he is always with his family and the closest ones, “he says. Asked about what quality Messi could stay with Ronaldinho if he could, the Brazilian says: “Leo has it all, he doesn’t need anything from me.” He has such a good memory of his past in Barcelona, ​​that it is “impossible” to keep one. “From the first game it was all joy, there are many memories. I think I have arrived with thousands of people waiting for me at the stadium, to be received is how to get home,” he admits. He has praise for Frank Rijkaard, his coach at Barça. “He is a great coach, a very quiet guy, the best I have worked with. He knew everything because he played at the best level, and that made things very easy for us. Everything he asked us he had already lived before that spoke to us in a very simple and direct way, “he insists. Ronaldinho comments that the Dutchman gave him “a lot of freedom” to do his football, despite the tactical demands.“After all, when we didn’t have the ball, we also had to fulfill our obligations. But when we did, it made me feel completely free,” he insisted. That is why he has no doubt in admitting that Barça football is the one that best fit his playing style, because “having the ball” is a characteristic of Barça’s game. “Everything that is done is with a ball. When you train in this way, then everything goes well.” Then he went through Milan, a “wonderful” team with Kaka, Pirlo, Beckham, Seedorf, Ibra, Thiago Silva, Gattuso, Maldini. “It was like arriving at a selection of the best in the world, such as the Madrid of the Galactic,” he argues. And he finished his career in Brazil, where he won the Libertadores with Atlético Mineiro. “It was very nice that return to my country. I really wanted to because I had left very young and I needed to win the Libertadores and be able to participate in other competitions. I also wanted to return physically well to compete at a high level.”last_img read more

New Diet, Sexual Attraction May Have Spurred Europeans’ Lighter Skin

first_imgWhy do some humans have lighter skin than others? Researchers have longed chalked up the difference to tens of thousands of years of evolution, with darker skin protecting those who live nearer to the equator from the sun’s intense radiation. But a new study of ancient DNA concludes that European skin color has continued to change over the past 5000 years, suggesting that additional factors, including diet and sexual attraction, may also be at play.Our species, Homo sapiens, first arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago, and researchers assume that its first members were as dark-skinned as Africans are today, because dark skin is advantageous in Africa. Dark skin stems from higher levels of the pigment melanin, which blocks UV light and protects against its dangers, such as DNA damage—which can lead to skin cancer—and the breakdown of vitamin B. On the other hand, skin cells need exposure to a certain amount of UV light in order to produce vitamin D. These competing pressures mean that as early humans moved away from the equator, it makes sense that their skin lightened.Recent research, however, has suggested that the picture is not so simple. For one thing, a number of genes control the synthesis of melanin (which itself comes in two different forms in humans), and each gene appears to have a different evolutionary history. Moreover, humans apparently did not begin to lighten up immediately after they migrated from Africa to Europe beginning about 40,000 years ago. In 2012, for example, a team led by Jorge Rocha, a geneticist at the University of Porto in Portugal, looked at variants of four pigmentation genes in modern Portuguese and African populations and calculated that at least three of them had only been strongly favored by evolution tens of thousands of years after humans left Africa. In January, another team, led by geneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona in Spain, sequenced the genome of an 8000-year-old male hunter-gatherer skeleton from the site of La Braña-Arintero in Spain and found that he was dark rather than light-skinned—again suggesting that natural selection for light skin acted relatively late in prehistory.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)To get a better idea of how European skin pigmentation has changed over time, a team led by Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London, extracted DNA from 63 skeletons previously found at archaeological sites in modern-day Ukraine and surrounding areas. The researchers were able to sequence three pigmentation-related genes from 48 of the skeletons, dated between 6500 and 4000 years old: the gene TYR, which is involved in the synthesis of melanin; SLC45A2, which helps control the distribution of pigment-producing enzymes in skin cells; and HERC2, the primary gene that determines whether the iris of the eye is brown or blue. These three genes, like all pigmentation genes, come in numerous variants that lead to different shades of skin, hair, and eye color.By comparing the variants of these genes in the ancient skeletons with those in 60 modern-day Ukrainians, as well as a larger sample of 246 modern genomes from the surrounding region, the team found that the frequency of variants related to lighter skin and hair, as well as blue eyes, increased significantly between the ancient and modern populations. For example, modern Ukrainians on average have more than eight times as many variants of TYR related to light skin, and four times as many variants related to blue eyes, as the ancient Ukrainians, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. African populations, on the other hand, have none of these lighter variants.Thus, while the prehistoric Ukrainians had apparently evolved relatively lighter skin and hair, and a higher frequency of blue eyes, in the time since their ancestors had left Africa, the data suggested that they were not done evolving. To further test this conclusion, the team performed computer simulations designed to distinguish between natural selection and “genetic drift,” a change in the frequency of genetic variants due just to chance. These tests—which take into account ancient population sizes and the rate at which genetic alterations occur, and can determine whether genetic drift alone can account for the speed of evolutionary changes—showed that the pigmentation genes were still undergoing strong natural selection after 5000 years ago; indeed, the selection pressure was as great as that for other genes known to be very strongly selected in humans, such as those involved in the ability to digest lactose and protection against malaria.“The signs of selection are indeed persuasive,” Rocha says. By using ancient DNA, he says, the team was able to “provide direct evidence” that “strong positive selection was the likely driver” of the changes in pigmentation profiles.But why was strong natural selection for lighter skin, hair, and eye color still going on thousands of years after humans left Africa and its brutal UV rays? In the case of skin color, the team speculates that these populations, which represented early farmers, had previously received a lot of vitamin D from their food, such as vitamin D-rich fish and animal livers, when they were hunter-gatherers. But after the advent of farming, when grains such as wheat and barley became a major part of their dinner plates, early Europeans needed to synthesize a larger amount of vitamin D in their skins. That’s when lightening up became very advantageous. The study “provides evidence that loss of regular dietary vitamin D as a result of the transition to a more strongly agricultural lifestyle may have triggered” the evolution of lighter skin, says Nina Jablonski, a leading skin color researcher at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.As for the trend toward lighter colored hair and blue eyes, Thomas and his co-workers suggest that may be due to sexual attraction—what in evolutionary terms is called sexual selection. If so, then the originally rare males or females with light hair and blue eyes might have been attractive to the opposite sex and so had more offspring; this kind of sexual preference for individuals with unusual appearances has been confirmed in other animals, such as guppies. Of course, in some of today’s cultures, a summer tan is also considered sexy, and here the study may provide some positive news: Modern variants of HERC2 can also make it easier to turn one’s skin golden brown in the sun.last_img read more