Ronaldinho: Pep Guardiola wanted me to stay at Barcelona

Ronaldinho says Pep Guardiola wanted him to stay at Barcelona when he took over as the Catalan club's manager in 2008.

Ronaldinho's fifth and ultimately final season at Barca -- under Frank Rijkaard -- had seen the Brazilian plagued by injuries and facing speculation that he was showing a lack of dedication in training and was enjoying a party lifestyle.

Those were reported to be some of the reasons -- as well as seeking to rejuvenate the squad -- behind Guardiola's apparent decision to let him leave for AC Milan when he was promoted to the role of first-team coach after one year with Barca B.

However, Ronaldinho says the current Manchester City boss was actually hoping he would remain at Camp Nou.

"When Pep arrived in 2008 he asked to see me," Ronaldinho told Mundo Deportivo. "I met with him and he said he wanted me in the team, to stay [at the club] because he was counting on me.

"I appreciated it but I knew that my cycle at Barca had ended and I decided to leave."

There have been reports over recent years that the two do not have the healthiest of relationships, but Ronaldinho said that was not the case.

He added: "As well as asking me to stay at the club, I could never have any hard feelings for someone who is like family to me.

"I have a really good relationship with Pep due to my relationship with his brother Pere when I was with Nike."

Ronaldinho, who made over 200 appearances for the Blaugrana after joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003, is back in Barcelona to sign an agreement which will see him become an ambassador for the club.

The role will involve representing the club at various events and activities, forming part of the legends project, taking part in FC Barcelona Foundation events related to UNICEF and working on the La Masia 360 project.