Dual Brazilian World Cup winning footballer, Ronaldo, has retired from professional football.
Ronaldo, 34, was named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2002, as well as lifting the FIFA World Cup in 1994 and 2002 for his native Brazil. The decision to retire has come after Corinthians, the Brazilian club side he had been playing for, were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores tournament.
Through his career, Ronaldo enjoyed fine spells at Cruzeiro (Brazil), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), AC Milan (Italy), Corinthians (Brazil) as well as amassing 97 caps for Brazil – from which he produced a phenomenal return of 62 goals.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Ronaldo’s remarkable career was the seizure which befell him on the day of the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final – when he was at the height of his prowess, and had been the best player in the tournament. Brazil lost the final 3-0 to a Zinedine Zidane inspired France, as they missed their best finisher who, while in the starting XI, was well below his brilliant best.
However, despite that disappointment, Ronaldo – who had already been at Brazil’s 1994 FIFA World Cup win, despite not playing a minute in that tournamnet, at the age of 17 – would go on to lift the trophy in 2002, in Japan and South Korea: with Ronaldo scoring both of Brazil’s goals in the final against Germany.
The list of club trophies and personal accolades Ronaldo picked up during his career are almost too numerous to mention: he picked up Spain’s La Liga with Real Madrid twice; the Intercontinental Cup with Real; the Supercopa de Espana with both Real Madrid and Barcelona; the UEFA Cup Winners Cup with Barcelona; a Copa do Brsil with both Cruzeiro and Corinthians; a UEFA Cup with Inter Milan; as well as a number of other minor tournaments.
More recently, Ronaldo has struggled with knee problems, which have changed his game, notably removing his raw pace which was such an asset in the 1990s and early 2000s. His decision to retire comes after the player realised “I can’t do it (play football) the way I want to any more.”