Ronaldo was born in the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro under the name Luis Nazario de Lima. Inspired by his childhood hero Zico, the youngster starts playing football early in his life. By his 12th birthday Ronaldo is playing in a youth club called Tennis Club Valqueire. There, he plays “futebol de salão” or futsal. This is considered an important step in Ronaldo’s development as playing futsal is said to rapidly increase skill. In the following few years, he takes part in various youth tournaments and begins to attract attention. Cruzeiro di Belo Horizonte snatch up the youngster on a $50,000 transfer. Young Ronaldo gets his big break at the age of 17 when he is called up for Brazil’s national team. He performs well and is selected for the World Cup 1994 squad. Because of his tender age, the young Ronaldo is kept as a substitute and watches on as his team wins the World Cup. Ronaldo’s international debut gets him noticed by PSV Eindhoven. He moves to Holland where he almost instantly becomes the top scorer in the league.
With his growing success in Europe, it doesn’t take long until Ronaldo is singed by FC Barcelona. With Barcelona, he gets global recognition by scoring regularly in decisive matches. After a few seasons, Ronaldo is signed by Italian club Internazionale. Ronaldo’s debut in Serie A is promising, but playing against the rough Italian defenders eventually takes its toll.
The year 1998 marks a decline in Ronaldo’s career. He led Brazil to the World Cup final, but failed to deliver during the decisive match. His country settled for silver as a wide range of speculations (from illness to black magic) were made about Ronaldo’s poor form. By the end of 1998, Ronaldo was forced to leave the pitch after a knee injury that he picked up with Inter. The injury haunted Ronaldo for a while forcing him to miss the entire 2000/2001 season. Soon after, Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid decided to sign the recovering Ronaldo.
After his injury, Ronaldo returned to the Brazilian national team, scoring two goals in the final and wining the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. Four years later in Germany, Ronaldo became the all-time leading goalscorer of the World Cup, beating Gerhard Müller’s record of 14 goals. Nevertheless, Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to France 0-1.
After signing with Real Madrid, Ronaldo joined a squad of all-stars or “galácticos” including Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul and Roberto Carlos. Real Madrid won two La Liga tiles in the following four years. Ronaldo moved to AC Milan in the beginning of 2007 and remained there until returning to Brazil with Corinthians in 2009. In February of 2011, Ronaldo retired from football stating that his body had finally succumbed to the numerous injuries he had suffered throughout his career.
In the beginning of his career, Ronaldo had a lot of speed, especially when dribbling. Ronaldo can beat any defender in 1v1. He plays with the typical Brazilian flair yet also has the strength to out-muscle and go around opponents.
|Name||Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima|
|Born||22 September 1976 in Bento Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro|
|Height||184 cm / 6 feet|
|Weight||89 kg / 197 pounds|
PSV Eindhoven (Holland)
Real Madrid (Spain)
AC Milan (Italy)