Luis Ronaldo, The enigma

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Brendon Ayanbadejo

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  • Luis Ronaldo, The enigma

Luis Ronaldo, The enigma

Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima is one of the biggest names in the history of football. He was born on 22nd September 1976. He has achieved every possible accolade. The Brazilian played for some of the giants of European football like Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan. Wherever he played, he became an instant crowd favourite and scored some of the most amazing goals ever.

Ronaldo was named the FIFA world player of the year in 1996, at the age of only 20. To date he is the youngest ever winner of the award. In 1997 he repeated the feat and also secured the European player of the year award. In 2002, Ronaldo again was made FIFA world player of the year for a 3rd time, after helping Brazil secure a record 5th World cup crown. He shares the record for the most FIFA world player of the year awards with his former team mate at Real Madrid, Zinadine Zidane.

Ronaldo has won 97 international caps for Brazil, on his way scoring an amazing 62 goals. He was part of the squad in the 1994 world cup but did not feature in the tournament. In 1998 Ronaldo had the world at his feet; he was the reigning FIFA world player of the year and was the star of the tournament. He played a vital role in bringing Brazil to the final. This was a very controversial final for Ronaldo, before the match there were doubts over his fitness. According to speculation he allegedly received death threats and blacked out hours before the kick off. He still managed to start the game to the surprise of many. The stage was set for the most talented footballer of his generation but unfortunately Ronaldo failed to impress the anticipating spectators and was substituted in the 2nd half. Brazil was thrashed by a Zidane inspired France, 3-0.

To this day no one actually knows the reality behind Ronaldo’s woes in the 1998 final. In 2002 he had a chance to redeem himself. He was coming into the tournament after a very long layoff due to his much documented knee injury. Brazil surprisingly was not amongst the favourites this time around. The 3 ‘Rs’, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo stole the show and Brazil again managed to reach the final. Germany vs. Brazil, it could not get any bigger. 2 of the most successful teams in world cups locked horns. Ronaldo had a chance to set the record straight once and for all. He did not disappoint this time and was the star of the show. Brazil overpowered Germany 2-0, courtesy 2 Ronaldo goals. He had answered his critics and had put to bed all the allegations made against him. Ronaldo could now proudly lift the trophy he most craved. For his outstanding performance in the tournament he was yet again rewarded with the FIFA world player of the year award.

The one trophy that still eludes the great Ronaldo is the European cup. He came close in 2003 with Real Madrid reaching the semi final but losing out to Juventus. That is probably the only blemish on an otherwise sparkling career. Ronaldo probably never managed the success worthy of his talent because of  an injury plagued career. None the less he is one of the most legendary players in the history of the game. Sir Bobby Robson said he had seen no greater player, his team mate Zidane said Ronaldo was the best player he ever played with. Ronaldo has no shortage of praise from the legends of the game. He is a true superstar and always has been a crowd pleaser due to his stopovers, 360s and nut megs. There will be no one like the great Brazilian striker. Words cannot do justice to his amazing talent.


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