- Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and A.C. Milan have all employed Ronaldo’s phenomenal football ability
- 352 goals in 515 games @ 0.68
- 62 goals in 97 games for Brazil @ 0.63
- All time top scorer in the FIFA World Cup with 15 goals
- Two time FIFA World Cup winner (1994, 2002)
- Three time FIFA World Player of the Year (1996, 1997, 2002)
- Two time Ballon d’Or winner (1997, 2002)
- One time FIFA Golden Ball winner (1998)
Interesting fact: Ronaldo never won the UEFA Champions League though he did win the UEFA Cup in 1998 with Inter Milan
It was the 12th of October 1996, a 20 year old Brazilian by the name of Ronaldo won the ball in his own half, ten seconds later, he had surged into Compostela’s box passing three Compostela defenders and scored. The late Sir Bobby Robson’s reaction to the goal was one of mortified disbelief whilst his assistants, one of which was a young ambitious 33 year old José Mourinho jumped up and down with joy. Ronaldo would finish the game with a hat-trick and an assist and that season for Barcelona, he scored 47 goals in 49 games.
By age 20, Ronaldo had scored 145 goals in 197 games @ 0.74 and Robson’s disbelief at some of the goals Ronaldo scored were the same reaction fans had when watching a young explosive, lean, solid and goal hungry Ronaldo. Whilst his CV is glittered with honours, one can’t help but think what if, what if Ronaldo never suffered those career debilitating injuries which robbed him of explosiveness, his physique and would wear down his appetite for the game thus why at just 34 years of age, Ronaldo decided to retire. Just some food for thought, the late Sir Stanley Matthews was named the Football Writers’ Association “Footballer of the Year” at 48 years of age!
Though it is inevitable for one to reflect on what Ronaldo’s career could have been, we must look at how Ronaldo overcame his injures. The 2002 FIFA World Cup showcased Ronaldo’s comeback from two knee operations and whilst he wasn’t the Ronaldo of old, he turned himself into a goal poacher and was the driving force behind Brazil’s FIFA World Cup success with eight goals. Four solid seasons with Real Madrid as a goal poacher demonstrated the willpower of Ronaldo to succeed with just football IQ and skill. As the years went by, Ronaldo’s weight increased, his professionalism became nonexistent and parallels with the late Garrincha became more and more apparent.
How will Ronaldo transition into post-retirement life? Will he spiral out of control like Garrincha who died at 49 years of age with cirrhosis of the liver? Or will his life become a soap opera like Diego Maradona? Hopefully some normality. Good luck Ronaldo and thankyou for the entertainment and long lasting memories.
About the Author
Written by Allan Jiang
http://bleacherreport.com/users/496473-allan-jiang Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org