Home football Is he greatest no.9 ever ?

Is he greatest no.9 ever ?

Is he greatest no.9 ever ?

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁoˈnawdu ˈlwis nɐˈzaɾju dʒi ˈɫĩmɐ]; born 18 September 1976),[2] generally generally known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian enterprise proprietor, president of La Liga membership Actual Valladolid, and a retired skilled footballer who performed as a striker. Popularly dubbed in Portuguese O Fenômeno (“The Phenomenon”),[3] he’s extensively thought-about one of many best gamers of all time. As a multi-functional striker who introduced a brand new dimension to the place, Ronaldo has been the affect for a technology of strikers which have adopted. His particular person accolades embrace being named FIFA World Participant of the 12 months thrice, and successful two Ballon d’Or awards.


Ronaldo began his profession at Cruzeiro and moved to PSV in 1994. He joined Barcelona in 1996 for a then world report switch payment, and at 20 years previous he was named the 1996 FIFA World Participant of the 12 months, making him the youngest recipient of the award. In 1997, Inter Milan broke the world report payment to signal Ronaldo, making him the primary participant since Diego Maradona to interrupt the world switch report twice. At 21 he obtained the 1997 Ballon d’Or, and he stays the youngest recipient of the award. By the age of 23, Ronaldo had scored over 200 targets for membership and nation, nevertheless after a sequence of knee accidents and recuperation he was inactive for nearly three years. Ronaldo joined Actual Madrid in 2002 and received the 2002–03 La Liga title. He had spells at A.C. Milan and Corinthians earlier than retiring in 2011 having suffered additional accidents.


Ronaldo performed for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 targets, and is the third-highest goalscorer for his nationwide workforce. At age 17, he was the youngest member of the Brazilian squad that received the 1994 FIFA World Cup. On the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo obtained the Golden Ball for participant of the event, serving to Brazil attain the ultimate the place he suffered a convulsive match hours earlier than kick-off. He received the 2002 FIFA World Cup the place he starred in a entrance three with Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. Ronaldo scored twice within the closing, and obtained the Golden Boot because the event’s prime goalscorer. On the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo scored his fifteenth FIFA World Cup aim, a FIFA World Cup report on the time. He additionally received the 1997 Copa América, the place he was participant of the event, and the 1999 Copa América, the place he was prime goalscorer.


Probably the most marketable sportsmen on this planet throughout his enjoying profession, the primary Nike Mercurial boots–R9–had been commissioned for Ronaldo in 1998. He was named within the FIFA 100 listing of the best residing gamers compiled in 2004 by Pelé, and was inducted into the Brazilian Soccer Museum Corridor of FameItalian Soccer Corridor of FameInter Milan Corridor of Fame and Actual Madrid Corridor of Fame. In 2020, Ronaldo was named within the Ballon d’Or Dream Workforce, a best all-time XI printed by France Soccer journal. In retirement from sport, Ronaldo has continued his work as a United Nations Improvement Programme Goodwill Ambassador, a place to which he was appointed in 2000. He served as an envoy for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Ronaldo grew to become the bulk proprietor of Actual Valladolid in September 2018, after shopping for 51% of the membership’s shares.

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima was born on 18 September 1976 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the third baby of Nélio Nazário de Lima, Snr. and Sônia dos Santos Barata.[4][5] Ronaldo has a brother, Nélio Jr.[5][6] His mother and father separated when he was 11, and Ronaldo dropped out of faculty shortly afterward to pursue a profession in soccer.[7] He performed on the streets of Bento Ribeiro, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. His mom states, “I at all times discovered him on the road enjoying ball with associates when he ought to have been at school. I do know, I misplaced my battle.”[7] He joined Social Ramos athletic indoor futsal workforce on the age of 12, and led the town youth league in scoring with a report 166 targets in his first season which included scoring 11 of his workforce’s 12 targets in a single recreation.[5][7] Crediting futsal for creating his abilities, Ronaldo has mentioned, “futsal will at all times be my past love.”[8][9][10] Noticed by former Brazilian participant Jairzinho, who was teaching São Cristóvão, Ronaldo performed for the São Cristóvão youth workforce the place he showcased his skills on the sphere.[11] Ronaldo’s brokers in Brazil, Reinaldo Pitta and Alexandre Martins, signed him as a 13-year-old. Pitta said, “We noticed immediately that he may very well be one thing completely different than most different gamers.”[7] Acknowledged as a toddler prodigy, Jairzinho advisable the then 16-year-old to his former membership Cruzeiro.[12]


Membership profession


“The primary time I noticed him play was at Cruzeiro. He was nonetheless a child. It was in a recreation the place he ended up scoring 5 targets. From that time on he confirmed he was really a phenomenon.”

—Brazilian defender Cafu on 17-year-old Ronaldo.[13]

In 1993, Ronaldo started his soccer profession enjoying for Cruzeiro.[14] Aged 16, he made his skilled debut on 25 Could 1993 in opposition to Caldense within the Minas Gerais State Championship.[14] Ronaldo got here to nationwide public consideration on 7 November 1993, scoring 5 targets within the recreation in opposition to Bahia.[15]

Ronaldo scored 44 targets in 47 video games with Cruzeiro, main them to their first Copa do Brasil in 1993, and the Minas Gerais State Championship in 1994.[16] Earlier than becoming a member of Cruzeiro, he was turned down by Flamengo, the workforce he supported as a boy, after lacking observe resulting from an incapacity to afford the fare for the hour-long bus experience, however Jairzinho noticed Ronaldo’s potential and helped get him the transfer to Cruzeiro.[7][17]

PSV Eindhoven

Ronaldo selected to hitch PSV after the 1994 World Cup. He was chosen for the event regardless of being simply 17, however didn’t play in any video games. It was Romário who suggested Ronaldo to maneuver to PSV; Romário having performed for PSV from 1988 to 1993.[18] Ronaldo scored 30 league targets in his first season within the Netherlands.[19] After scoring a hat-trick in PSV’s recreation in opposition to Bayer Leverkusen within the 1994–95 UEFA Cup, Leverkusen striker and Germany World Cup winner Rudi Völler said in a submit match press convention, “By no means in my life have I seen an 18-year-old play on this approach.”[18] His dribbles from midfield caught the eye of many within the sport, with future Barcelona teammate Luis Enrique stating, “I would seen him on tv at PSV and thought ‘wow’. Then he got here to Barcelona. He is essentially the most spectacular participant I’ve ever seen. He did issues I would by no means seen earlier than. We’re now used to seeing Messi dribble previous six gamers, however not then. Ronaldo was a beast.”[20]

Nick Miller, match reporter for The Guardian, writes, “What’s putting about Ronaldo in that first yr at PSV is how full he seems, whilst a thin teenager. Every thing that might come to outline him – the lightning tempo, the blurry stepovers, the implausible impression that he was sooner with the ball than with out it, even the distinctive upper-body energy – was all there.”[18] Rob Smyth added, “In some ways Ronaldo was the primary PlayStation footballer. His stepover was a type of hypnosis, and his signature trick, the elastico, may actually have come from a pc display screen.”[21] Ronaldo’s second season was marred by a knee harm which stored him out of many of the marketing campaign, however he nonetheless averaged practically a aim a recreation, scoring 19 targets in 21 appearances.[18] With PSV, Ronaldo received the Dutch Cup in 1996 and he was Eredivisie prime scorer in 1995.[19] Throughout his two seasons on the membership he scored 54 targets in 58 video games.[22]


Ronaldo scoring the successful penalty for Barcelona within the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Remaining in opposition to Paris Saint-Germain

Throughout his spell at PSV, Ronaldo attracted the eye of each Inter Milan and FC Barcelona. It was Barcelona that was keen to pay the then world report payment of $19.5 million.[22] Through the 1996–97 season, Ronaldo scored 47 targets in 49 video games in all competitions, together with his aim celebration invariably the identical together with his arms outstretched just like the statue of Christ the Redeemer that watches over his native Rio de Janeiro.[22] He led the Catalan facet to UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup triumph the place he capped the season with the successful aim within the cup closing, and to Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España wins.[23] He additionally received La Liga prime scorer award in 1997 with 34 targets in 37 video games, and the European Golden Shoe.[24] Till the 2008–09 season, Ronaldo remained the final participant to attain greater than 30 targets in La Liga.[24]

Ronaldo was at his bodily peak at Barcelona, and plenty of of his 47 targets concerned him rounding the goalkeeper earlier than slotting the ball into the online.[22] Óscar García, Ronaldo’s teammate that season, said, “Again then, he was all fibre and muscle. He was an ideal bodily specimen. Such unbelievable energy matched to his technical abilities may make him unstoppable.”[25] Atletico Madrid’s Quinton Fortune, who performed in opposition to Ronaldo thrice that season – Ronaldo scored eight targets – together with having to mark him as soon as, said, “I noticed him after the match completed, and that is the closest I used to be to Ronaldo on the evening. As a child, I needed to be Pelé. I purchased all of the books, all of the movies and I studied what it may very well be wish to be the perfect. I set off on that path. Then I met Ronaldo. Some gamers had been technical, some had been fast, some had been robust, some had been good…Ronaldo was all of these. He was a beast; it was unfair to everybody else.”[25] José Mourinho, who labored as an interpreter at Barcelona, referred to Ronaldo as “the best participant I’ve ever seen in my life”, including, “I’ve no doubts. Ronaldo is the perfect my eyes have seen”,[26] and in 2014 regarded him as the perfect participant post-Diego Maradona.[27]“He was bodily perfection, and he appeared like a legendary determine. I like [Lionel] Messi, I performed many instances with Cristiano [Ronaldo] and I am keen on him, Neymar is excellent, Ronaldinho was distinctive—however in case you put all of them collectively, you would possibly get what Ronaldo was that season.”

Quinton Fortune remembers enjoying in opposition to Ronaldo within the 1996–97 season.[25]

Arguably Ronaldo’s most memorable Barcelona aim was scored at SD Compostela on 11 October 1996.[22] Having obtained the ball inside his personal half, he evaded a cynical sort out of the primary opponent with a drag again, earlier than working away from one other and ran in the direction of aim the place he went previous two extra defenders within the field with shut ball management, after which slotted the ball into the underside nook of the online.[22] The digicam then minimize to Barcelona supervisor Bobby Robson who had received up off the bench and clasped his head in disbelief at what he had seen.[22] The footage of the aim was later utilized in a Nike advert with a voiceover asking: “Think about you requested God to be the perfect participant on this planet, and he listened to you”.[22] The day after the aim, the headline within the Spanish newspaper AS learn: ‘Pelé returns’.[22] A hat-trick in opposition to Valencia, the third aim of which noticed him dissect two Valencia defenders earlier than putting the ball into the online, noticed Barcelona followers waving white handkerchiefs as an expression of admiration for an distinctive efficiency.[28] Such was the style Ronaldo ran via opposing defences, former Actual Madrid ahead Jorge Valdano commented; “he isn’t a person, he is a herd”.[21] Sid Lowe of Sports activities Illustrated states, “That season Ronaldo was unstoppable. He was slim and highly effective, skillful, quick and lethal. He was ridiculously good.”[29] On the finish of 1996, aged 20, Ronaldo grew to become the youngest participant to win FIFA World Participant of the 12 months.[22]

Inter Milan

1997–99: World report switch and Ballon d’Or win

Ronaldo on the 1999 Cannes Movie Competition

Ronaldo’s time at Barcelona lasted one season, as there have been issues with the renegotiation of his contract.[22] Barcelona thought the speaking was over having agreed a brand new long-term contract with the perfect participant on this planet till 2006, as Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez declared; “He is ours for all times”.[22] Nevertheless, when the events reconvened to finalise the deal the next day, the settlement collapsed, with Núñez admitting: “It is throughout, Ronaldo goes”.[22] Chatting with ESPN, Ronaldo said, “The expertise [at Barcelona] was great and I had reached an settlement to resume my contract only a month earlier than that season completed, however per week later the lawyer and the president of Barcelona agreed that that contract was absurd.”[30] Paying the purchase out clause payment in his contract, Inter Milan signed him in the summertime of 1997 for a then world report payment of $27 million, making him the second participant, after Diego Maradona, to interrupt the world switch report twice.[21][22]

Ronaldo tailored to the Italian fashion of the sport in his first season, ending with 25 Serie A targets, and was named Serie A Footballer of the 12 months.[31] Ronaldo began to turn into a whole ahead. He started racking up assists, grew to become first-choice penalty taker, taking and scoring freekicks. Midway via his first season he received FIFA World Participant of the 12 months for the second time, and picked up the Ballon d’Or.[32] Throughout his time with Inter, he scored a number of targets in opposition to metropolis rivals A.C. Milan within the Derby della Madonnina. Ronaldo and prolific Fiorentina striker Gabriel Batistuta had been the 2 greatest strikers in Serie A, with their duels essentially the most anticipated in Italy.[33] Ronaldo’s aim celebrations typically noticed his Inter teammates congratulating him by kneeling down and pretending to shine his shoe.[34] Ronaldo scored a trademark aim in opposition to Lazio within the 1998 UEFA Cup Remaining. Working via defence to go one on one with Lazio goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani, Ronaldo feinted to go proper then left, with out touching the ball, leaving Marchegiani on his bottom, earlier than going proper and slotting the ball into the online.[35] His Inter teammate Youri Djorkaeff said; “Ronaldo was phenomenal. He proved that he was a minimize above the remaining that season.”[35] After the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the place he was named participant of the event, Ronaldo was extensively thought to be the perfect striker on this planet.[21][36] By the top of the 1998–1999 season, he was appointed Inter Milan captain.[37]

1999–2002: Recurring harm issues

“The knee accidents suffered at Inter Milan took away the explosiveness that made him presumably the best younger footballer of all time, a futuristic fusion of pace, energy and ability. That’s not to belittle Ronaldo’s achievements within the second half of his profession, when he scored eight targets in a single World Cup [in 2002] and have become the primary Ronaldo to obtain a standing ovation at Previous Trafford [in 2003], however it’s the reminiscence of the early years that places mist within the eyes of grown males.”

—Rob Smyth, The Guardian.[21]

After two seasons with Inter, A. C. Milan defender Paolo Maldini considered Ronaldo and Diego Maradona as the 2 greatest gamers he ever confronted, stating, “Ronaldo throughout his first two years at Inter was a phenomenon.”[38] Inter had excessive hopes going into the 1999–2000 season with their assault together with Ronaldo and Italian stars Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri.[39] Nevertheless, on 21 November 1999, throughout a Serie A match in opposition to Lecce, Ronaldo felt his knee buckle and was compelled to limp off the sphere.[40] A medical examination confirmed that the striker had ruptured a tendon in his knee and would require surgical procedure.[40] Throughout his first comeback on 12 April 2000, he performed solely six minutes throughout the first leg of the Coppa Italia closing in opposition to Lazio earlier than struggling a whole rupture of the knee-cap tendons.[41][42][43] As Ronaldo fell to the bottom clutching his knee, Lazio gamers together with Diego Simeone ran over to assist him, and followers of each groups applauded him as he was stretchered off the sphere.[44] Ronaldo’s physiotherapist Nilton Petrone said, “his knee-cap really exploded”, and referred to as it “the worst soccer harm” he is ever seen.[45]

Ronaldo was compelled to overlook the whole 2000–01 season and far of the 2 seasons both facet of it.[46] Since his Inter teammate Javier Zanetti had changed him because the workforce captain throughout his absence, he ultimately inherited the captain’s armband in late 2001.[47] After two operations and rehabilitation, Ronaldo got here again for the 2002 World Cup, serving to Brazil win their fifth World Cup title. Later in 2002, he received the FIFA World Participant of the 12 months award for the third time, and transferred from Inter to Actual Madrid.[32] Ronaldo was given his most recognizable nickname, Il Fenomeno, by the Italian press whereas enjoying there.[7][21] His Inter teammate Djorkaeff said, “once we had been coaching, we might virtually cease to observe him. It was extraordinary.”[48] Previous to his November 1999 harm Ronaldo had registered 42 targets in 58 Serie A video games, in what was the toughest league to attain in with essentially the most superior defensive methods and the world’s greatest defenders.[49][50] After 5 years he had performed 99 video games and scored 59 targets for Nerazzurri.[32] Ronaldo’s performances on the membership – particularly the primary two seasons earlier than harm – noticed him named among the many 4 inaugural inductees into the Inter Milan Corridor of Fame in 2018.[51][52]

Actual Madrid

2002–2005: Ballon d’Or win and La Liga championship

Ronaldo received La Liga in his first season and obtained the Pichichi Trophy in his second.

Having signed for Actual Madrid for €46 million, his jersey gross sales broke all data on the primary day.[53] Ronaldo was a part of the Galácticos period of world stars signed by the membership each summer season, which included Zinedine ZidaneLuís FigoRoberto Carlos and David Beckham.[54] He was sidelined via harm till October 2002 which added to the followers anticipation.[55] Ronaldo scored twice on his debut in opposition to Alavés, the primary 61 seconds after approaching, and he obtained a standing ovation on the Santiago Bernabéu as he left the sphere.[55] That very same reception was noticed on the closing recreation of the season in opposition to Athletic Bilbao, the place Ronaldo scored to complete his first season with 23 league targets and seal La Liga title for 2003.[56] He additionally received an Intercontinental Cup in 2002 and Spanish Tremendous Cup in 2003, scoring in each finals.[56]Ronaldo taking a shot for Actual Madrid, 2 March 2005

Within the second leg of Actual Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in opposition to Manchester United at Previous Trafford, knocking the English workforce out of the competitors.[57] Ronaldo was substituted on 80 minutes and was given a standing ovation from each units of followers.[57] Reflecting on the ovation given to him from the opposition’s followers, Ronaldo said, “For me it stays a really lovely, very particular second.”[58] He scored in a 2–1 house win over Juventus within the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, however harm crucially stored him out of many of the second leg defeat the place Actual had been eradicated.[59]

Within the 2003–04 season, Madrid had been on observe to win the treble, till Ronaldo was injured in the direction of the top of the season; they subsequently misplaced the Copa del Rey closing, had been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals to AS Monaco, and suffered a league kind breakdown.[60][61] Throughout that second season on the membership, Ronaldo scored one of many quickest targets within the membership’s historical past when he netted after 15 seconds in a league match in opposition to Atlético Madrid on the Bernabéu on 3 December 2003.[62] Three days later he helped to make sure Actual’s first league victory over Barcelona on the Nou Camp in 20 years when he scored the second aim in a 2–1 victory over his former membership.[59] He completed the season as La Liga’s prime scorer with 25 targets and obtained the Pichichi Trophy for a second time, regardless of Madrid dropping the league title to Valencia.[24]

2005–2007: Remaining two seasons

“He [Ronaldo] was extra gifted [than Cristiano Ronaldo] and if he took care of himself just like the Portuguese does, his performances would have been much more unbelievable.”

Fabio Capello on Ronaldo’s weight points at Madrid.[63]

In his closing two seasons at Actual Madrid, Ronaldo missed plenty of video games with accidents and weight points, and with the acquisition of Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2006, he grew additional out of favour with the supervisor Fabio Capello.[64] Talking in 2017 on Ronaldo’s weight points and lack of health at Madrid, along with his skill, Capello summed up the conflicting feelings he has with the Brazilian, “essentially the most tough participant to deal with was the perfect I coached: Ronaldo, il Fenomeno.”[65] In 4 and a half seasons on the membership, Ronaldo scored over a century of targets, turning into the fifth foreigner at Madrid to realize the feat after Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano, Hungarian Ferenc Puskás, Mexican Hugo Sánchez and Chilean Iván Zamorano.[66] Though the knee accidents earlier than 2002 meant he “was robbed of the explosiveness of his early years” by the point he signed for Actual Madrid, Ronaldo was named by Marca as a member of the “Greatest international eleven in Actual Madrid’s historical past“.[41][67]

Whereas previous his Nineteen Nineties prime, Ronaldo nonetheless drew reward from his Madrid colleagues, with Zidane stating, “With out hesitation, Ronaldo is the perfect participant I ever performed with or in opposition to. He had such an ease with the ball. Day-after-day I educated with him, I noticed one thing completely different, one thing new, one thing lovely.”[68] Michael Owen, who joined Madrid in 2004, acknowledged that he by no means received the prospect to play with Ronaldo in his prime when “he had absolute blistering pace and energy, mesmerizing foot pace, he was only a blur, he’d be that quick”, earlier than including, “even in coaching, he confirmed greater than sufficient to persuade me that I might have beloved to play with him at his peak.”[69] Teammates for six months, Van Nistelrooy mentioned, “Ronaldo was the perfect pure expertise I ever performed with. His innate skill went past something that I would ever seen or performed alongside.”[70][71]

A.C. Milan

Ronaldo’s Inter Milan away jersey (left) and A.C. Milan away jersey (proper) within the San Siro museum. He performed for Inter from 1997 to 2002, and A.C. Milan from 2007 to 2008.

On 18 January 2007, it was reported that Ronaldo agreed phrases with A.C. Milan for a switch of €8.05 million.[72] Departing Actual Madrid having been the membership’s main goalscorer for all of his 4 full seasons, Ronaldo thanked everybody besides Capello, “I want to thank the followers who’ve supported me on a regular basis and thank all of the teammates that I’ve had right here and all of the coaches I’ve had – besides one”.[73] Capello, who dropped him resulting from weight points, commented, “I want him the perfect of luck in doing what he used to do which is being an ideal participant.”[73] On 25 January, Ronaldo flew from Madrid to Milan, with statements on the membership’s web site stating Ronaldo was in Milan for a medical, and {that a} assembly had been organized with Actual Madrid officers to debate and finalize his switch to the Milanese membership.[74] On 26 January, Ronaldo efficiently accomplished his medical assessments on the Milanello coaching advanced beneath the supervision of membership docs, and the switch was accomplished on 30 January.[75] Carrying the quantity 99 jersey, he made his debut in its place on 11 February 2007 within the 2–1 victory over Livorno.[76] The subsequent recreation at Siena, on 17 February, Ronaldo scored twice and assisted on a 3rd aim in his first begin for Milan, as they received 4–3.[77] In his first season, Ronaldo scored seven targets in 14 appearances.[40]Ineligible to play having signed for the membership mid season, Ronaldo (standing sixth from left) celebrated the 2007 UEFA Champions League triumph together with his A.C. Milan teammates.

After his transfer to Milan, Ronaldo joined the listing of the few gamers to have performed for each Inter Milan and A.C. Milan within the Derby della Madonnina, and is one in every of few gamers to have scored for each rival groups within the Milan derby recreation (for Inter within the 1998–99 season and for A.C. Milan within the 2006–07 season), the others being gamers resembling Giuseppe MeazzaZlatan IbrahimovićEnrico Candiani and Aldo Cevenini.[78] Ronaldo can be one of many few gamers to have began for Actual Madrid and FC Barcelona, which additionally boasts a heated rivalry. Ronaldo, nevertheless, has by no means transferred immediately between rival golf equipment. Ronaldo solely performed 300-plus minutes in his second season at Milan resulting from recurring harm issues and weight points.[79] Ronaldo’s solely targets within the 2007–08 season, moreover his aim in opposition to Lecce in pre-season, got here in a 5–2 victory in opposition to Napoli on the San Siro, the place he scored an emotional double.[80] It was additionally the primary time Milan’s a lot hyped attacking trio of KakáAlexandre Pato and Ronaldo, generally known as Ka-Pa-Ro, performed collectively.[81]

Regardless of great success over the previous decade, Ronaldo by no means received the UEFA Champions League in his membership profession.[82] In 2019, FourFourTwo journal named him the perfect participant by no means to win the competitors;[83] in 2020, Sky Sports activities ranked him the second–greatest participant (after Diego Maradona) by no means to win the Champions League or European Cup.[84] Ronaldo said, “I reside soccer with a ardour that does not give me any peace for not successful the Champions League – it is a trophy everybody would like to win.”[85] In 2011, Paul Wilson wrote in The Guardian, “Ronaldo was unfortunate in his timing or his alternative of membership – for there isn’t any doubt that at his best possible he would have walked into any membership on this planet.”[64] Through the 2006–07 season, although Milan received the 2006–07 title, Ronaldo was cup-tied with Madrid and ineligible to participate.[86][87] The closest that he got here to Champions League success was in 2003 when he helped Actual Madrid to the semi-finals, by which they misplaced to Juventus.[88]

On 13 February 2008, Ronaldo suffered a extreme season-ending knee harm whereas leaping for a cross in Milan 1–1 draw with Livorno, and was stretchered off and brought to a hospital.[89] The membership confirmed after the match that Ronaldo had ruptured the kneecap ligament in his left knee. It marked the third such prevalence of this harm, which he suffered twice to his proper knee in 1999 and 2000.[90] Teammate Clarence Seedorf said, “My coronary heart stopped beating as a result of it was like watching a repeat of the harm he suffered enjoying for Inter Milan in opposition to Lazio [in 2000]. His response was the identical.”[91] Silvio Berlusconi instructed Italy’s RAI TV, “He fears for his profession. I referred to as him final night and instructed him to consider in himself. He has huge bodily potential.”[90] Ronaldo was launched by Milan on the finish of the season, as his contract expired and was not renewed.[92][93]


2009–2010: Paulistão and Copa do Brasil

Ronaldo throughout his Corinthians unveiling in 2009, with Brazil president Lula handing him the jersey

Ronaldo educated with Rio de Janeiro primarily based Brazilian membership Flamengo throughout his restoration from knee surgical procedure, and the membership’s board of administrators mentioned that the doorways had been open for him to hitch.[94][95] On 9 December, nevertheless, Ronaldo signed a one-year cope with Flamengo’s league rival Corinthians.[96] The announcement obtained a lot publicity within the Brazilian press about his alternative of Corinthians over Flamengo, since Ronaldo publicly declared himself a Flamengo fan.[92] Rio-based sports activities newspaper Lance! referred to as Ronaldo a “phenomenal traitor”, and a few offended followers burned Ronaldo shirts exterior the Flamengo headquarters.[96] Ronaldo responded that enjoying for Corinthians was the one possibility open to him. “I perceive completely, I am overtly a Flamengo fan. However I used to be coaching with Flamengo for 4 months and did not obtain any supply. Corinthians made a proposal that can let me proceed my profession.”[96]

Ronaldo performed his first match for Corinthians on 4 March 2009, a Copa do Brasil match in opposition to Itumbiara at Estádio Juscelino Kubitschek, by which he got here as an alternative to Jorge Henrique.[97] Ronaldo scored his first aim for Corinthians on 8 March 2009 in a Campeonato Paulista match in opposition to Palmeiras.[98] Scoring eight targets in 9 matches, his kind led to requires his return to the Brazil nationwide workforce – practically 70% of respondents in a ballot for the O Globo newspaper voted that he must be reinstated, with the nation’s president Lula additionally calling for his rapid return.[99] He scored twice in a 3–1 win in opposition to native rivals Santos within the first leg of the state championship closing, with Santos idol Pelé trying on from the stands. His second aim, a chip over the Santos goalkeeper from 30 yards out, despatched the Corinthians followers into hysteria.[99] Finally, he helped Corinthians win the Campeonato Paulista with 10 targets in 14 video games.[100]

Ronaldo scored in Corinthians 4–2 combination defeat of Internacional within the closing of the 2009 Copa do Brasil, serving to the membership win the trophy for the third time (the second of his profession), thus incomes a spot within the Copa Libertadores 2010.[101][102] Following an harm lay off he returned on 20 September in a match in opposition to Goiás, and per week later scored for Corinthians in a draw in opposition to São Paulo FC. He completed the Brazilian Serie A 2009 with 12 targets in 20 matches.[103]

2011: Retirement

Ronaldo greets followers on the Emirates Stadium in London in March 2011, one month after saying his retirement

In February 2010, Ronaldo signed a contract extension with Corinthians that might hold him with the membership till the top of 2011, and mentioned he would then retire.[104][105] Commenting on his weight points following this announcement, Brian Homewood of The Guardian states, “Sadly, Ronaldo’s superstar is now extra of a draw than his abilities on the pitch – Coldplay, Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres and actor Hugh Jackman have all visited São Paulo to get an image with the roly‑poly star.”[106]

In February 2011, after Corinthians had been eradicated from the 2011 Copa Libertadores by the Colombian workforce Deportes Tolima, Ronaldo introduced his retirement from soccer, concluding an 18-year profession.[107][108][109] In an emotional press convention on 14 February, he cited ache and hypothyroidism as the explanations for his untimely retirement.[110] He found he had hypothyroidism – a situation which slows down metabolism and causes weight achieve – throughout assessments with Milan in 2007.[111] Ronaldo admitted his physique had lastly succumbed to the crippling litany of accidents that had blighted his profession: “It is very laborious to go away one thing that made me so pleased. Mentally I needed to proceed however I’ve to acknowledge that I misplaced to my physique. The pinnacle desires to go on however the physique cannot take any extra. I consider an motion however I can not do it the way in which I need to. It is time to go.”[112]

Worldwide profession

Ronaldo (pictured with the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017) received the trophy with Brazil in 1997

Ronaldo made his worldwide debut for Brazil on 23 March 1994, in a pleasant match in Recife in opposition to Argentina;[113] his first senior aim for Brazil got here on 4 Could 1994, in a 3–0 pleasant win over Iceland.[114] He went to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA as a 17-year-old, however didn’t play, as Brazil went on to win the event.[115] He said he was “overjoyed” on the expertise.[116] He was then generally known as Ronaldinho (“little Ronaldo” in Portuguese), as a result of Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus, his older teammate on the event, was additionally referred to as Ronaldo and nicknamed Ronaldão (“huge Ronaldo”) to additional distinguish them.[117] One other Brazilian participant, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, now extensively generally known as Ronaldinho, was referred to as Ronaldinho Gaúcho when he joined the Brazilian most important nationwide workforce in 1999.[118][119]

Within the 1996 Olympic Video games in Atlanta, Ronaldo performed with the title Ronaldinho on his shirt, since centre again Ronaldo Guiaro, two years his senior, was one in every of his teammates. Brazil went on to win the bronze medal.[120] Ronaldo additionally represented Brazil within the 1995 Copa América (ending in second place), and received each the 1997 and the 1999 editions of the event. He was named participant of the event in 1997, was the highest scorer in 1999, and he scored within the finals of each – in opposition to Bolivia in 1997 and Uruguay in 1999.[121][122][123] He additionally took half within the pleasant Tournoi de France in 1997, previous the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring a aim as Brazil completed in second. Ronaldo starred alongside Romário, dubbed the Ro-Ro assault, within the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, serving to Brazil win their first ever Confederations Cup title the place he completed because the third highest scorer with 4 targets, scoring a hat-trick over Australia within the closing.[124] On the mixture of Ronaldo and Romário, Will Sharp writes, “to the elation of all these lucky sufficient to have watched them, they discovered themselves collectively, fated with the chance to forge some of the outrageous offensive pairings the sport has ever seen. Their partnership was transient but it surely was inexplicably sensible.”[125]

1998 FIFA World Cup

“The best way he mixed powerhouse athleticism with a poetic contact made for an superior sight. Within the Nineteen Nineties, in his bodily pomp, in his free-flowing prime, there was nothing remotely like him. By the point the 1998 World Cup got here alongside his fame had prolonged to the purpose of absolutely shaped marvel. A taking place.”

—Amy Lawrence, The Guardian.[115]

Ronaldo entered the 1998 FIFA World Cup billed because the world’s best participant by reporters within the sport.[126] Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian writes, “In 1998, nobody was as ferociously gifted as Ronaldo, whose supernatural combination of energy, tempo and ability had made him the participant each baby within the playground needed to be; on the age of 21, the hopes and goals of a nation rested on his shoulders.”[126]

Ronaldo scored 4 targets and made three assists en path to the closing,[127][128] scoring as soon as and aiding Bebeto’s aim in a 3–0 win in opposition to Morocco within the workforce’s second group stage match,[129] netting twice in a 4–1 win in opposition to Chile within the spherical of 16, set–up two targets in Brazil’s 3–2 victory over Denmark within the quarter-finals,[127][130] and scored as soon as within the 1–1 draw in opposition to the Netherlands within the semi-finals, additionally netting Brazil’s first penalty within the 4–2 shoot–out victory.[130][131][132] Hours earlier than the ultimate in opposition to France, Ronaldo suffered a convulsive match.[127] At first, he was faraway from the beginning lineup 72 minutes earlier than the match, and the workforce sheet (with Edmundo as his substitute) was submitted to the FIFA delegate.[126] The beginning line up with out Ronaldo was launched to a shocked world media.[126] The BBC’s John Motson said, “The scenes within the commentary field have been absolute mayhem and chaos.”[133] Nevertheless, shortly earlier than kick off, after pleading that he felt high quality and requested to play, Ronaldo was reinstated by Brazil coach Mário Zagallo.[126]Stade de France (inside pictured), the place Ronaldo carried out within the 1998 World Cup closing regardless of struggling a convulsive match six hours earlier than kick off

Ronaldo was the final Brazilian participant out of the tunnel because the groups entered the sphere. Through the enjoying of the Brazil nationwide anthem the digicam targeted on him all through, with Ronaldo displaying little emotion.[133] Steinberg states that Ronaldo “sleepwalked” via the ultimate, which additionally noticed him injured in a collision with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.[126] Zagallo admitted the fears over Ronaldo affected his workforce psychologically, and said “for the entire of the primary half I used to be questioning whether or not to take him off”, however feared a public outcry in Brazil had he accomplished so.[126] Brazil misplaced the match to hosts France 3–0.[134] Ronaldo later mirrored: “We misplaced the World Cup however I received one other cup – my life.”[127]

An inquest was launched in Brazil, with workforce physician Lídio Toledo telling the fee “think about if I finished Ronaldo enjoying and Brazil misplaced. At that second I would need to go and reside on the North Pole.”[126] Adrian Williams, professor of medical neurology at Birmingham College, mentioned that Ronaldo shouldn’t have performed, that he would have been feeling the after results of the seizure, and “there isn’t any approach that he would have been in a position to carry out to the perfect of his skill inside 24 hours of his first match – if it was his first match.”[135] Regardless of his sub-par efficiency within the closing resulting from his seizure hours earlier, Ronaldo was awarded the Golden Ball as the perfect participant of the event for his performances main as much as the ultimate, and completed the event because the joint-third highest scorer.[136] The character of the incident set off a path of questions and allegations which persevered for years, with Alex Bellos writing in The Guardian, “When Ronaldo’s well being scare was revealed after the match, the scenario’s distinctive circumstances lent itself to fabulous conspiracy theories. Right here was the world’s most well-known sportsman, about to participate in a very powerful match of his profession, when he out of the blue, inexplicably, fell in poor health. Was it stress, epilepsy, or had he been drugged?”[137] A conspiracy surrounded Nike, the sportswear firm who sponsored Ronaldo and the Brazilian nationwide workforce, with some in Brazil believing the corporate had compelled Ronaldo to play.[137] The parliamentary inquiry was unable to seek out any wider conspiracy, though the Brazilian public remained unconvinced.[137]

2002 FIFA World Cup

“I’ve mentioned earlier than that my huge victory was to play soccer once more, to run once more and to attain targets once more. This victory, for our fifth world title, has topped my restoration and the work of the entire workforce.”

—Ronaldo on his comeback from harm and the 2002 World Cup success.[138]

Previous to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo had barely performed since rupturing the cruciate ligament in his proper knee in April 2000, and he missed Brazil’s complete qualification marketing campaign the place, in his absence, the workforce had been poor. Tim Vickery writes, “With out Ronaldo, Brazil had been a shambles, lucky even to get to the event. With him, it was a unique story.”[139] In a exceptional comeback from harm that had threatened his profession, Ronaldo led Brazil to their report fifth World Cup title, receiving the Golden Boot as prime scorer with eight targets.[140] Many publications regarded his private triumph as “redemption” for what occurred on the earlier World Cup.[115][140][141][142] Ronaldo spoke about his obsession with lifting the World Cup trophy, having missed out in 1998. “I used to visualise the trophy in entrance of my eyes and picture what an exquisite feeling it should be to carry it up within the air. It was a wonderful feeling really to carry it in my arms and kiss it.”[116] Dubbed the “three R’s”, Ronaldo starred in a formidable assault alongside Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, and the trio had been named within the FIFA World Cup All-Star Workforce.[115][143]

Ronaldo scored in opposition to each opponent within the event besides within the quarter-finals in opposition to England.[144] The match-winner in opposition to Turkey within the semi-final, with the successful aim a toe-poke end with little back-lift whereas on the run – a end he realized whereas enjoying futsal in his youth – the ultimate whistle noticed followers behind the aim hoist large white letters to spell out his title akin to the Hollywood signal.[115][145] A lot consideration was on his haircut – solely a part of his head was shaved – accomplished as a deliberate distraction to shift media consideration away from a leg harm. He revealed, “once I arrived in coaching with this haircut everyone stopped speaking in regards to the harm”.[146] Within the closing in opposition to Germany in Yokohama, Japan, Ronaldo scored twice in Brazil’s 2–0 win and tied Pelé‘s Brazilian report of 12 profession World Cup targets.[147] Ronaldo was the primary participant to hunt out German gamers to supply his condolences,[141] earlier than he was congratulated by Pelé when receiving his World Cup winners medal.[148] Gérard Saillant, the French surgeon who operated on Ronaldo’s knee, was within the crowd as his visitor, and said after the sport; “This provides hope to everybody who’s injured, even those that aren’t sportsmen, to see that by preventing you can also make it. He is again to the place he was; it is vastly satisfying and I’m very moved.”[138] Ronaldo obtained plenty of accolades for his achievement, together with the Laureus World Sports activities Award for Comeback of the 12 months and the BBC Abroad Sports activities Persona of the 12 months, and in December 2002 he devoted his third FIFA World Participant of the 12 months award to the medical workforce which helped him get better.[149][150][151] In a 2017 interview with Fox Sports activities, Ronaldo said, “the perfect workforce I performed in was the Brazilian one in 2002, we felt that we may at all times rating. It was a workforce with none self-importance, or people. The collective was essential.”[152]

2006 FIFA World Cup

Ronaldo mural in Berlin selling Brazilian Joga Bonito fashion of play. The work was commissioned by Nike previous to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

On 2 June 2004, Ronaldo scored an uncommon hat-trick of penalties for Brazil in opposition to arch-rivals Argentina in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match.[153] With 10 targets in 15 video games, together with a aim in opposition to Venezuela within the final recreation to safe first place, Ronaldo was the South American prime scorer in Brazil’s qualifying marketing campaign.[154]

On the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo was a part of a much-publicized “magic quartet” alongside AdrianoRonaldinho and Kaká.[155][156] The all-star Brazilian workforce was promoted as masters of Joga Bonito, “the gorgeous recreation”, which was marketed by Nike earlier than the event.[157][158] Though Brazil received their first two group video games in opposition to Croatia and Australia, Ronaldo was repeatedly jeered for being chubby and sluggish,[159] however coach Carlos Alberto Parreira stored him within the beginning lineup.[160]

With two targets in opposition to Japan within the third match, Ronaldo grew to become the twentieth participant to attain in three World Cups and likewise equalled the all-time World Cup finals scoring report of fourteen, held by Gerd Müller (Ronaldo scored at France 98Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006).[160] He then broke Müller’s report within the Spherical of 16 match in opposition to Ghana by scoring his fifteenth-career World Cup aim.[56][161] Together with his third aim of the event, Ronaldo grew to become solely the second participant ever, after Jürgen Klinsmann, to attain at the very least three targets in every of three World Cups.[162] Brazil, nevertheless, had been knocked out by France 1–0 with a aim by striker Thierry Henry within the quarter-finals.[163] Ronaldo was awarded the Bronze Shoe because the third-highest goal-scorer of the World Cup.[164]

Having been listed in Guinness World Information, Ronaldo said, “I’m happy with my profession and of the data I set. However I do know that at some point they are going to be damaged.”[165] Ronaldo and Klinsmann’s shared report of at the very least three targets in three separate World Cup finals was damaged by German striker Miroslav Klose, who has a report of at the very least 4 targets in every of three tournaments, having netted 5 at each the 2002 and 2006 finals, and 4 on the 2010 event.[166] Ronaldo completed with fifteen targets in nineteen World Cup matches, for a mean of 0.79 per recreation.[167] His teammate Kaká mirrored, “Ronaldo is the perfect participant I’ve ever performed with. I’ve seen il Fenomeno do issues no one else has ever accomplished.”[168]

Farewell match and sporadic appearances

Ronaldo enjoying within the Match Towards Poverty in Bern, March 2014

In February 2011 it was introduced that Ronaldo could be given one final match for Brazil, a pleasant in opposition to Romania in São Paulo on 7 June 2011, 5 years after his final match with the nationwide workforce.[169] Regardless of it being nearly extraordinary in worldwide soccer for gamers to be given a farewell match for his or her nationwide facet, Brazilian Soccer Confederation officers said that given the stellar profession of Ronaldo, it was solely becoming that his closing recreation ought to happen in Brazil whereas representing his nation.[170]

Ronaldo performed for quarter-hour in a match that ended with a Brazilian victory with a aim from Fred.[171] Fred celebrated his aim with Ronaldo’s well-known ‘finger wag’ celebration alongside together with his Brazilian teammates. Ronaldo was launched after half-hour, partnering 19-year-old Neymar in assault, and had three pictures on track which had been saved by the Romanian goalkeeper.[172] After the primary half ended, Ronaldo made a farewell speech to the gang.[172] With 62 targets for Brazil Ronaldo retired from worldwide soccer because the second-highest goalscorer for his nation, behind solely Pelé (Neymar has since moved into second place, with Ronaldo the third-highest scorer as of October 2020).[173][174]Ronaldo on the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony held on the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia

On 13 December 2011 Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane performed a charity match with their associates in opposition to former and present gamers of the German workforce Hamburg within the ninth version of the Match Towards Poverty sequence, which Ronaldo and Zidane established in 2003.[175][176][177] In December 2012, Ronaldo and Zidane reunited for the Match Towards Poverty in Porto Alegre, Portugal, with the sphere plagued by World Cup winners from France and Brazil, which additionally noticed 1982 World Cup star Zico (Ronaldo’s boyhood idol) prove for Ronaldo’s workforce.[178] In January 2013, Ronaldo was named one of many six ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[179]

Ronaldo was chosen as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Improvement Programme (UNDP) in 2000 as he had the best international attraction amongst sportspeople, and he accepted the position as he noticed it as “an obligation” to assist with causes around the globe.[44] Ronaldo performed within the UNDP’s eleventh Match Towards Poverty on 4 March 2014 in opposition to a Zidane XI in Bern, Switzerland, with proceeds raised serving to the restoration efforts within the Philippines within the wake of Hurricane Haiyan.[180] Joined by Didier Drogba in assault, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick within the subsequent yr’s match on 21 April 2015 in St Etienne, France, with proceeds going in the direction of the African international locations most affected by the Ebola epidemic.[181][182]

On 14 June 2018, Ronaldo featured on the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony held on the Luzhniki Stadium in MoscowRussia.[183] He walked out with a toddler sporting a Russia 2018 shirt at the start, and returned on the finish of the ceremony with the official ball of the 2018 World Cup – Adidas Telstar 18 – which was despatched into house with the Worldwide House Station crew in March and got here again to Earth in early June.[183]

Type of play and legacy

“Ronaldo did issues no one had seen earlier than. He, along with Romário and George Weah, reinvented the centre-forward place. They had been the primary to drop from the penalty field to choose up the ball in midfield, swap to the flanks, entice and disorientate the central defenders with their runs, their accelerations, their dribbling.”

—Former France striker Thierry Henry.[184]

Ronaldo is thought to be one of many best and most full forwards of all time.[56][64][185] Dubbed Il (or O) Fenomeno (the phenomenon), he was a prolific goalscorer, and regardless of being extra of an individualistic attacker, he was additionally able to offering assists for his teammates, resulting from his imaginative and prescient, passing and crossing skill.[64][186][187] He was an especially highly effective, quick, and technical participant, with glorious motion, in addition to being a composed finisher.[188][189][190] Extremely regarded for his technical skill, Ronaldo was ready to make use of each toes, regardless of being naturally proper footed,[191][192] and is taken into account some of the skilful dribblers within the recreation.[193] Together with Brazilian compatriot Romário and Liberian star George Weah, Ronaldo was seen as a brand new breed of striker within the Nineteen Nineties who would additionally function exterior the penalty space earlier than working with the ball in the direction of aim.[56][64] Usually positioned close to midfield, as soon as in possession of the ball he would waste no time in making a beeline in the direction of aim, with Rob Smyth writing, “he performed like each assault had a 10-second deadline.. he would explode into life with no warning for defenders.”[21] He continuously beat a number of gamers when dribbling at pace, and excelled in a single on one conditions, resulting from his ball management, acceleration, agility, stability and nimble footwork in his prime.[56][64][185][193]“I’ve by no means seen a participant in a position to present such exact management at such excessive pace. Watching him was like watching a personality in a online game.”

—Former France defender Marcel Desailly on Ronaldo’s mixture of pace and shut ball management.[21]

His coach at Barcelona, Bobby Robson, commented: “Ronaldo may begin from the midway line and the entire stadium would ignite. He was the quickest factor I’ve ever seen working with the ball. Had he managed to remain freed from harm, he had each probability of turning into the perfect footballer ever.”[21] In a single on one conditions, Ronaldo typically used elaborate strikes to trick and beat defenders and goalkeepers; he popularised using many soccer tips and abilities, such because the elastico and the step over.[56][64][194] Sid Lowe of Sports activities Illustrated writes, “When he was one on one with the goalkeeper, you knew — simply knew — that he would rating. He was so pure, so cool, so totally in management. He would dip the shoulder, step over, and bang!.”[29]“There have been two Ronaldos: the one which returned after long-term harm in 2002 was an ideal goalscorer, however the Nineteen Nineties model was an ideal every part. At his fearsome peak for PSV, Barcelona and Inter Milan he was arguably essentially the most harmful striker the world has ever seen.”

—Rob Smyth, The Guardian.[21]

His Barcelona teammate Óscar García noticed, “I would by no means seen anybody play soccer with such technical skill, creativity and precision at that unbelievable pace. What stood out to all of us, from the second we met Ronnie, was that he may do issues which different gamers discovered very tough and make them look simple. However he may additionally produce these issues whereas working at an unbelievable, explosive tempo.”[25] Together with his mixture of pace, ability and ending Ronaldinho referred to as Ronaldo “essentially the most full striker there has ever been”, a view echoed by Zlatan Ibrahimović, who said, “as a soccer participant, he was full. There’ll by no means, in my opinion, be a greater participant than him.”[195] The goalscoring idol of Lionel Messi, the Argentine states “Ronaldo was the perfect striker I’ve ever seen. He was so quick he may rating from nothing, and will shoot the ball higher than anybody I’ve seen.”[196] The excellent affect for a technology of strikers, from Karim Benzema to Sergio Agüero, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku stating “he modified the dimension of a striker” and will “dribble like a winger, run like a sprinter”, Zlatan added, “no one influenced soccer and the gamers who emerged as a lot as Ronaldo”.[197]

Ronaldo, as so lots of those that seemed as much as him acknowledge, modified what it’s to be a centre-forward. Each time you see a striker who is anticipated to carry the ball up, beat gamers, win headers, shoot from vary, drop deep, do every part a striker can presumably do – it may be value remembering him. He shifted boundaries, challenged conference, simply as a lot as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have altered our perceptions of what a winger may be. Ronaldo, the unique Ronaldo, impressed a phalanx of imitators, gamers we see on our screens each weekend. However he additionally turned the sport so that it’ll at all times look just a bit bit like him. Greater than most, he made that No. 9 his personal.— Rory Smith writing for ESPN on Ronaldo altering the sport for strikers, March 2016.[197]

Emilio Butragueño said, “Ronaldo creates a goalscoring alternative the place it would not exist. Most strikers want the midfielders and their teammates, however he doesn’t.”[198] On his pace of thought, Kaká mentioned “For me the perfect gamers are those that are ready to consider a play and execute it quickest and in one of the simplest ways potential, and Ronaldo was the perfect at that. The pace of thought he had – and the pace he needed to perform his actions – had been good.”[198] Ronaldo was additionally a powerful and highly effective participant who may defend the ball from the opposition, with former Italian defender Alessandro Nesta (who confronted Ronaldo in a high-profile one on one duel within the 1998 UEFA Cup closing which was billed as “the perfect attacker in opposition to the perfect defender in Serie A”) stating: “It was the worst expertise of my profession. Ronaldo is the toughest attacker I’ve ever needed to face. He was inconceivable to cease.”[199] Requested who was the hardest opponent of his profession, 2006 world participant of the yr Fabio Cannavaro responded, “I’ve little doubt, Ronaldo, the phenomenon. For my technology he was what Maradona or Pelé had been for the earlier ones. He was unmarkable. On the first test you handed, the second burned you, the third humiliated you. He seemed like an extraterrestrial.”[200] Together with his fast reactions and anticipation, Ronaldo typically beat defenders to the ball, and as a finisher he was efficient together with his head in addition to both foot, and will end nicely each inside and out of doors the penalty space.[64] As well as, he was an correct free-kick and penalty kick taker.[185]Ronaldo holding his ankle in 2010. The harm was the most recent for a striker who suffered critical knee accidents which hampered his profession within the 2000s.

Evaluating his pure skill to Roger Federer, Paul MacDonald of Purpose writes, “there is a pleasure available watching one thing we all know to be extraordinarily tough executed with appreciable ease. Ronaldo in his prime was ready to try this higher than anybody who has ever performed the sport.”[201] Displaying an effortlessness in his recreation, a reliance on his superior innate skill is given as a motive for his software in coaching typically not being as excessive as his teammates – although his knee points might also have been an element – together with his Brazil teammate Emerson stating “Ronaldo felt he did not have to work as laborious as us, that he may do in two days what the remainder of us would take ten days to do. And normally, he was proper”.[201] On his precocious expertise – a expertise which noticed him turn into the youngest FIFA World Participant of the 12 months at age 20, and youngest Ballon d’Or recipient aged 21 – Rob Smyth of The Guardian wrote in 2016, “Ronaldo is definitely the perfect of the previous 30 years, presumably ever. The different Ronaldo and Messi had been sensible youngsters however had nothing like the identical influence at that age. Solely Pelé, Diego Maradona and George Greatest can actually examine.”[21] Requested to call the perfect participant of his lifetime, José Mourinho mentioned, “Ronaldo, El Fenomeno. Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers. They’ve remained on the prime on daily basis for 15 years. Nevertheless, if we’re speaking strictly about expertise and ability, no one surpasses Ronaldo.”[202] In 2020, Ronaldo was named within the Ballon d’Or Dream Workforce, a best all-time XI printed by France Soccer journal.[203]

At his bodily peak within the Nineteen Nineties, Ronaldo grew to become severely affected by the knee accidents he suffered from late 1999 onward and the following weight achieve throughout his inactivity, which restricted his pace, health, and mobility.[64][188] In response to his physiotherapist Nilton Petrone, Ronaldo was weak to harm resulting from a medical situation mixed together with his explosive working. “Ronaldo had an issue referred to as trochlear dysplasia. This makes the connection between the kneecap and the femur a bit unstable. There isn’t any direct surgical procedure for that so the kneecap retains, for a scarcity of a greater phrase, “dancing” on the femur. Ronaldo’s accidents weren’t as a result of his physique was weak, however due to his explosive capability. He did not simply run quick in a straight line, he additionally modified path at unbelievable pace. Ronaldo moved from left to proper very quick…so it was apparent, by the way in which that he performed, that accidents had been at all times a risk”.[45] Acknowledging “he was by no means fairly the identical” after his knee harm in 2000, with “his tempo and sheer brute pressure diminished compared to The Phenomenon” within the Nineteen Nineties, FourFourTwo journal ranked him the perfect participant on the 2002 World Cup, including “he was nonetheless a minimize above the remaining” within the event.[204]

Majority proprietor of Actual Valladolid

In September 2018, Ronaldo grew to become the bulk proprietor of La Liga membership Actual Valladolid after shopping for a 51% controlling stake within the membership for €30 million.[205][206] At his unveiling because the membership’s new proprietor at Valladolid metropolis corridor, Ronaldo said, “I’ve gone via many phases in my coaching in soccer to organize for this. Soccer is all about ardour. We need to construct the perfect workforce potential to compete whereas additionally giving details about our administration with transparency.”[206]

Exterior soccer

Private life

Ronaldo throughout a 2005 assembly on the Brazilian Ministry of Training

Throughout 1997, Ronaldo met the Brazilian mannequin and actress Susana Werner on the set of Brazilian telenovela Malhação once they acted collectively in three episodes.[207][208] Though they by no means married, they started a long-term relationship and lived collectively in Milan till the start of 1999.[209]

In April 1999, Ronaldo married Brazilian footballer Milene Domingues, on the time pregnant with the couple’s first son, Ronald, who was born in Milan, on 6 April 2000.[210] The wedding lasted 4 years. In 2005, Ronaldo grew to become engaged to Brazilian mannequin and MTV VJ Daniela Cicarelli, who grew to become pregnant however suffered a miscarriage; the connection lasted solely three months after their luxurious marriage ceremony on the Château de Chantilly. The ceremony reportedly value £700,000 (€896,000).[211]A practising Catholic, Ronaldo donated a signed soccer to Pope Francis. Accompanied with a signed Brazil jersey from Pelé, it’s positioned in one of many Vatican Museums.

Regardless of his fame – a 2003 ballot by Nike listed him the world’s most well-known sportsperson (and third most well-known individual general) – Ronaldo is protecting of his privateness, together with with teammates, stating in an interview with The Telegraph, “every [player] has his personal non-public life, and nobody thinks about anybody else’s non-public life. Or talks about it.”[58] By 2003 he was fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, and had an excellent understanding of English.[58]

In a 2005 interview with Folha de S.Paulo, Ronaldo revealed that, considerably unexpectedly, he recognized racially as white,[212] producing a wider dialog in regards to the advanced position of race in Brazil.[213][214][215] Ronaldo’s father, Nelio Nazario, said, “He is aware of full nicely that he is black. Really, on the time, I assumed it was some philosophy, one thing to that impact. As a result of he is aware of he is black.”[214] In response to a research led by geneticist Sérgio Pena of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, most Brazilians typically have a false impression about their roots. “The maternal ancestry of the Brazilian white was one-third African, one third Amerindian, and one third European. A person who considers himself white could also be genomically extra African than a person who considers himself to be brown or black.”[214]

In April 2008, Ronaldo was concerned in a scandal involving three travesti prostitutes whom he met in a nightclub in Rio de Janeiro.[216] Ronaldo claimed that upon discovering that they had been legally male, he supplied them $600 to go away.[217] One of many three tried to blackmail Ronaldo, whereas the opposite two admitted the allegations had been false.[218] Ronaldo’s engagement to Maria Beatriz Antony was instantly halted,[219] however resumed shortly after. Maria Beatriz Antony gave beginning to their first daughter, named Maria Sophia, in Rio de Janeiro, on 24 December 2008. In April 2009, the household moved to a brand new penthouse in São Paulo.[220] On 6 April 2010, Maria Beatriz Antony gave beginning to their second daughter. The woman, born in São Paulo, was named Maria Alice. Coincidentally, Maria Alice was born precisely 10 years after her older brother Ronald.[221]“Within the dressing room, I used to be sat between [Paolo] Maldini and Ronaldo, who requested me if I needed to be a part of his clan, displaying me a duplicate of Playboy, or if needed to be a part of Kaká’s clan, who had a couple of church issues within the dressing room.”

Alexandre Pato on assembly Ronaldo at A.C. Milan in 2007.[222]

In December 2010, Ronaldo and his household moved to a brand new mansion in São Paulo.[223] Additionally in December, Ronaldo took a paternity take a look at and was confirmed to be the daddy of a boy named Alexander, born in April 2005. The boy was born after a quick relationship between Ronaldo and Michele Umezu, a Brazilian waitress who Ronaldo first met in Tokyo in 2002.[224][225] After the affirmation of his fourth baby, Ronaldo said on 6 December 2010 that he had had a vasectomy, feeling that having 4 kids was sufficient.[226]

In a 2011 interview with the BBC, former Actual Madrid teammate Steve McManaman spoke about Ronaldo’s persona. “He may go in a restaurant, and I may go in with him, and you are not simply there with shut associates. He invitations everyone. You would be at a desk with him and it might be a decide sitting reverse speaking to a politician with somebody off the road listening in. So he simply had this wonderful aura, the place everybody needed to hitch him. Typically there’d be 20 to 30 individuals sitting at meal instances with him. He was an exquisite individual. All people would second that, it doesn’t matter what membership he performed for.”[227]

Ronaldo was the co-owner of A1 Workforce Brazil, together with former F1 driver Emerson Fittipaldi.[228] Ronaldo co-owns the sports activities advertising firm 9INE, together with his good friend, blended martial artist Anderson Silva, one in every of his shoppers.[229][230] A eager poker participant, in April 2013 Ronaldo grew to become a member of PokerStars SportStar, and in 2014 he performed a charity poker event in opposition to tennis star Rafael Nadal.[231] On 11 December 2014, Ronaldo grew to become a minority proprietor of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League.[232][233] In 2015, Ronaldo opened eight new branches of his youth soccer faculty – the Ronaldo Academy – in China, the U.S. and Brazil, with 100 anticipated to be opened worldwide by 2020.[234][235] In 2017, Ronaldo’s son, Ronald, was chosen for the junior soccer workforce representing Brazil within the 2017 Maccabiah Video games.[236] The Maccabiah is described as “the Jewish Olympics”; Ronald is just not Jewish, however some taking part international locations have extra relaxed guidelines about eligibility and Ronald is a member of a Jewish soccer membership.[236]


Ronaldo appeared in The Simpsons season 18 episode “Marge Gamer” broadcast in April 2007.[237] Simon Crerar of The Occasions listed Ronaldo’s efficiency as one of many thirty-three funniest cameos within the historical past of the present.[238] Ronaldo made a cameo look in every movie of the Purpose! movie trilogy, Purpose! (2005), Purpose II: Dwelling the Dream (2007) and Purpose III: Taking over the World (2009).[239] Archive footage of Ronaldo options within the music video “We Are One (Ole Ola)“, the official tune of the 2014 World Cup by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.[240]

Ronaldo has appeared in varied commercials, from Snickers chocolate bar to Pirelli tyres.[241][242] Ronaldo’s traditional aim celebration of each arms outstretched – particularly from his early profession – was the idea for Pirelli’s 1998 business the place he changed the determine of Christ from the Christ the Redeemer statue that towers over his house metropolis of Rio de Janeiro whereas in an Inter Milan strip.[243] It was controversial with the Catholic Church.[242] In 2017 Ronaldo was added as an icon to the Final Workforce in EA Sports activities‘ FIFA online game FIFA 18, receiving a 95 score together with Brazilian compatriot Pelé, Argentine playmaker Diego Maradona, former Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin and former French star Thierry Henry.[244] Ronaldo additionally seems as the duvet athlete on the Icon version of the sport