Obrigado Ronaldo!

Ronaldo retires at age of 34.

Legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo has decided to call time on what has been an illustrious and unforgettable career.
The 34-year-old, currently playing for Corinthians, has been planning to hang up his boots for some time and is set to officially announce his retirement on Monday.
Citing injury and fitness concerns as the main reasons for his decision, he told Fantastico online magazine: "My body aches. In my head I want to continue, but this body can't take much more.
"In recent days I have cried like a baby."
Ronaldo has been one of the most celebrated footballers in his generation, having won three World Player of the Year awards, two World Cups with Brazil and is the competition's all-time leading goalscorer with 15 goals in four tournament appearances.
While he has experience many highs during his career, there were also some low moments too.
The former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan player has been plagued with a number of serious knee injuries throughout his career and was often criticized for being overweight.
But the lowest moment for Ronaldo was in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where he suffered a convulsive fit the night before the final against France but insisted on playing despite being taken off from the starting line-up 72 minutes before the match by then coach Mario Zagallo.
He performed badly as Brazil went on to lose 3-0.
Nonetheless, he will be remembered as one of the greatest strikers of all time.
He will formally end his career at a press conference at Corinthians headquarters at 12:40pm local time (15:40 CET, 14:40 BST, 09:40 EST.)


Career Highlights of Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima aka Ronaldo.


Club career:

 

1993: Cruzeiro

In 1993, Ronaldo began his football career playing for Cruzeiro which was already going on to become a successful club. In his first and only year with Cruzeiro, he amassed 12 goals in 14 appearances and led them to their first Copa do Brasil championship. Prior to this, he was turned down by his boyhood favourite team Flamengo, but Brazilian World Cup legend Jairzinho saw Ronaldo's potential and helped get him the move to Cruzeiro.

1994–1996: PSV Eindhoven

Ronaldo chose to join PSV after the 1994 World Cup, for which the Brazilian was selected as a 17-year-old but did not play. It was Romário who advised Ronaldo to start his European career at PSV; Romario being a former striker of the team from 1988–1993. Ronaldo scored 30 league goals in his first season in Holland. His second season was marred by a knee injury which kept him out of most of the campaign, but he still averaged nearly a goal a game in the league, with 12 in his 13 appearances. With PSV, Ronaldo won the Dutch Cup in 1996 and he was Eredivisie top scorer in 1995.

1996–1997: Barcelona

During his spell at PSV, Ronaldo attracted the attention of notably Inter Milan and Barcelona. It was Barcelona that was willing to pay the then record fee of $17 Million. During the 1996–97 season Ronaldo scored an incredible 47 goals in 49 games (in all competitions) for Barça, leading the Catalan side to UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph (where he capped the season with the winning goal in the cup final itself) and to Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España wins. He also won La Liga top scorer award in 1997 with 34 goals in 37 games. Until the 2008–09 season, Ronaldo remained the last player to score more than 30 goals in La Liga. At the age of twenty, Ronaldo became the youngest player to win FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996. He also finished runner-up for the Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo scoring the winning penalty in the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final against Paris Saint-Germain.

1997–2002: Inter Milan

Ronaldo's time at Barça was brief, as there were problems with the renegotiation of Ronaldo's contract. Ronaldo's unhappiness became evident and at the end of the season, by paying the buy out clause fee in his contract, Inter Milan signed him the following year for a then world record fee of £19 Million. Ronaldo duly helped them repeat his former side's cup-winning run, this time in the UEFA Cup, in which he scored their third goal in the final itself.
Ronaldo adapted to the Italian style of the game in his first season, finishing second on the league's scoring charts. Ronaldo started to develop into a complete forward. He began racking up assists, became first-choice penalty taker, taking and scoring freekicks, and captaining the team at the end of the season. During his time with Inter, he scored several goals against AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina. He won FIFA World Player of the Year for the second time in 1997, and collected the Ballon d'Or the same year. The following year, after the FIFA World Cup, he finished second for FIFA player of the year, and third for European Footballer of the Year. At this point in his career, he was clearly and widely regarded as the best player in the world.
On November 21, 1999, during a Serie A match against Lecce, Ronaldo felt his knee buckle and was forced to limp off the pitch. Medical exams after the match confirmed that the striker had ruptured a tendon in his knee and would require surgery. During his first comeback on April 12, 2000, he played only seven minutes during the first leg of the Coppa Italia final against Lazio before injuring his knee for a second time. After two operations and months of rehabilitation, Ronaldo came back for the 2002 World Cup, helping Brazil win their fifth World Cup title. Later in 2002 he won the World Player of the Year award for the third time, and transferred from Inter to Real Madrid. Ronaldo was given his most recognizable nickname Il Fenomeno by the Italian press while playing there. He was named the 20th top footballer of all time for Inter according to Times Online and only his injuries prevented a higher ranking. He played 99 games and scored 59 goals for nerazzurri.

2002–2007: Real Madrid


Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid
Having signed for Real Madrid for €39 million, his jersey sales broke all records on the first day, such was the obsession and hype surrounding him. He was sidelined through injury until October 2002 but the fans kept on chanting his name. Ronaldo scored twice in his debut for Real Madrid. He received a standing ovation in the Santiago Bernabeu. That same reception was observed on the night of the final game of the season against Athletic Bilbao, where Ronaldo scored again to seal his first season with 23 league goals and the La Liga Championship title for 2003, which Ronaldo had previously failed to win while with Barcelona. With Real he also won a Intercontinental Cup in 2002 and Spanish Super Cup in 2003. In the second leg of Real Madrid's Champions League quarter-final, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Manchester United to knock them out of the competition. Real was on track to win the treble until Ronaldo was injured towards the end of the 03/04 season, and they lost the Copa del Rey final, got knocked out of the Champions league quarter-finals, and suffered a league form breakdown. This season he finished as the league's top scorer with 24 goals and was awarded the Pichichi Trophy despite Real losing the league title to Valencia. Real Madrid were knocked out of the first round of the last 16 in the Champions League by Arsenal, and went a third straight season without a trophy.During his time at Real Madrid, Ronaldo has scored against some of their biggest opponents including several against rivals Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. With the acquisition of Ruud Van Nistelrooy in 2006, Ronaldo grew more and more out of favor with the manager Fabio Capello due to injuries and weight issues.

2007–2008: AC Milan

On 18 January 2007, it was reported that Ronaldo agreed terms with AC Milan for a transfer of €7.5 million. Ronaldo was forced to pay for the remaining period on his contract which tied him to Real Madrid, only because the latter did not agree to release him, while AC Milan were not ready to pay such a sum. On Thursday, January 25 Ronaldo flew from Madrid to Milan to watch AC Milan in a cup tie against Roma. Statements on the club's website said that Ronaldo was in Milan for a medical, and that a meeting had been arranged for Monday with Real Madrid officials to discuss and finalize his transfer to AC Milan. On 26 January, Ronaldo successfully completed his medical tests at the Milanello training complex under the supervision of club doctors, and the transfer completed on January 30 and got the squad number 99. He made his debut as a substitute on 11 February 2007, during the 2–1 victory over Livorno. The next game at Siena on 17 February 2007, Ronaldo scored twice and assisted on a third goal in his first start for AC Milan as they won an exciting game 4–3. In his first season, Ronaldo scored 7 goals in 14 appearances.
After his move to AC Milan, Ronaldo joined the list of the few players to have played for both Inter Milan and AC Milan in the Milan Derby and is one of two players to have scored for both sides in the derby game (for Inter in the 98/99 season and for Milan in the 06/07 season), the other player being Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ronaldo is also one of the few players to have started for Real Madrid and Barcelona, which also boasts a heated rivalry. However, Ronaldo has never transferred directly between rival clubs. Ronaldo only played 300-plus minutes in his single season at AC Milan due to recurring injury problems and weight issues. Ronaldo's only goals in the 2007/2008 season, besides his goal against Lecce in pre-season, came in a 5–2 victory against Napoli at the San Siro, where he scored an emotional brace. It was also the first time AC Milan's much hyped attacking trio of Kaká, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldo, known as Ka-Pa-Ro played together. In total he scored 9 goals in 20 appearances for AC Milan.
Despite tremendous success over the past decade, Ronaldo has never won the UEFA Champions League in his club career. During the 2006–07 season, though AC Milan won the 2006–07 title, Ronaldo was cup-tied with Madrid and ineligible to take part. The closest that he has been was in 2003 when he helped Real Madrid to the semi-finals, in which they lost to Juventus.
On 13 February 2008, Ronaldo suffered a severe season-ending knee injury while jumping for a cross in AC Milan's 1–1 draw with Livorno, and was stretchered off and taken to a hospital. AC Milan confirmed after the match that Ronaldo had ruptured the kneecap ligament in his left knee. It marked the third such occurrence of this injury, which he suffered twice to his right knee in 1998 and 2000. He was released by Milan at the end of the season, as his contract expired and was not renewed.

2009–2011: Corinthians


Ronaldo in 2010
Ronaldo trained with Flamengo during his recovery from knee surgery, and the club's board of directors said that the doors were open for him to join. However, on 9 December, Ronaldo signed a one-year deal with Flamengo's league rival Corinthians. The announcement received high publicity in the Brazilian press about his favouring Corinthians over Flamengo, since Ronaldo publicly declared himself a Flamengo lover and had promised to defend the club.
Ronaldo played his first match for Corinthians on 4 March 2009, a Copa do Brasil match against Itumbiara at Estádio Juscelino Kubitschek, in which he came as a substitute for Jorge Henrique. Ronaldo scored his first goal for Corinthians on March 8, 2009, in a Campeonato Paulista match against Palmeiras. He helped Corinthians win the Campeonato Paulista with 10 goals in 14 games.
Ronaldo helped Corinthians defeat Internacional with an aggregate score of 4–2 to help the club win its third Brazil Cup (the second of his career), thus earning a spot in the Copa Libertadores 2010. He returned on September 20 in a match against Goias. On 27 September 2009, he scored for Corinthians in the 1–1 draw against São Paulo.
He finished the Brazilian Serie A 2009 with 12 goals in 20 matches.
In February 2010, Ronaldo signed a contract extension with Corinthians that would keep him with the club until the end of 2011 and said he would then retire.
In February 2011, after Corinthians was eliminated in the 2011 Copa Libertadores and threats from Corinthians' supporters, Ronaldo announced that he was retiring from football.


International career:

 

Ronaldo made his international debut for Brazil in 1994, in a friendly match in Recife against Argentina. He went to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA as a 17-year-old but did not play. He came to be known as Ronaldinho ("litle Ronaldo" in Portuguese), because Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus, his older team-mate on the tournament, was also called Ronaldo and also nicknamed Ronaldão ("big Ronaldo") to further distinguish them. Another Brazilian player, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, who is widely known as Ronaldinho, would come to be called Ronaldinho Gaúcho when he joined the Brazilian main national team in 1999.
In the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ronaldo played with the name Ronaldinho on his shirt, since centre back Ronaldo Guiaro, two years his senior, was one of his teammates. Brazil went on to win the bronze medal in Atlanta.
Voted the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997, he scored four goals and made three assists during the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The night before the final, he suffered a convulsive fit. At first Ronaldo was removed from the starting lineup 72 minutes before the match, but he requested to play and was later reinstated by coach Mario Zagallo. Ronaldo did not perform well and he was injured in a collision with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Brazil lost the final to hosts France 3–0. Adrian Williams, professor of clinical neurology at Birmingham University, said that Ronaldo should not have played, saying that he would have been feeling the after effects of the seizure and that "there is no way that he would have been able to perform to the best of his ability within 24 hours of his first fit — if it was his first fit."
During the 2002 FIFA World Cup Ronaldo again led the national team to their record fifth championship and won the Golden Shoe as top scorer with eight goals and was runner-up to the Golden Ball as most valuable player in the tournament. He also scored against every opponent in the tournament except in the quarter-finals against England. In the final match against Germany, Ronaldo scored his 11th and 12th goals to a round of applause and tied Pelé's Brazilian record of 12 career World Cup goals.
On 2 June 2004, Ronaldo scored an unusual hat-trick of penalties for Brazil against arch-rivals Argentina in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match.
At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, although Brazil won their first two group games against Croatia and Australia, respectively, Ronaldo was repeatedly jeered for being overweight and slow. Nonetheless, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira kept him in the starting lineup in face of calls to have Ronaldo replaced. With his two goals against Japan in the third match, he became the 20th player ever to score in three different FIFA World Cups and also equalled the all-time World Cup finals scoring record of 14, held by Gerd Müller (Ronaldo scored at France 98, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006). and then broke Müller's record in the Round of 16 match against Ghana by scoring his 15th World Cup goal. He also equalled a much less talked about mark: with his third goal of the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo became only the second player ever, after Jürgen Klinsmann, to score at least three goals in each of three World Cups. However, Brazil were knocked out by France 1–0 in the quarter-finals. However, Ronaldo and Klinsmann's record of at least three goals in each of three World Cup finals has now been both equalled and bettered by Klinsmann's fellow German Miroslav Klose, who now has a record of at least four goals in each of three tournaments, having netted five at both the 2002 and 2006 finals, and four at the 2010 tournament.



Personal life:

 

Ronaldo is the third child of Nélio Nazário de Lima, Snr and Sônia dos Santos Barata, Ronaldo has a brother Nélio Jr.
During 1997, Ronaldo met the Brazilian model and actress Susana Werner on the set of Brazilian telenovela Malhação when they acted together in three episodes. Although never marrying, they began a long-term relationship and lived together in Milan until the beginning of 1999. In April 1999, Ronaldo married female Brazilian footballer Milene Domingues, at the time pregnant with the couple's first son, Ronald. The marriage lasted four years. The couple had a son, Ronald (born in Milan, on April 6, 2000). In 2005, Ronaldo became engaged to Brazilian model and MTV VJ Daniela Cicarelli, who became pregnant but suffered a miscarriage; the relationship lasted for only three months after their luxurious wedding at the Château de Chantilly. The ceremony reportedly cost €700,000 (£896,000). Ronaldo also had a relationship with Brazilian supermodel Raica Oliveira, ended in December 2006.
In April 2008, Ronaldo was involved in a scandal involving three transvestite prostitutes whom he met in a nightclub located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Upon discovering that they were men, Ronaldo offered them $600 to leave. However, one of the three, André Luís Ribeiro Albertini (better known as Andréia Albertini), demanded $30,000 and exposed the case to the media. According to the local police chief, "[Ronaldo] was very excited and wanted to go out and have fun, without the press knowing. Ronaldo said that he is not mentally stable and is having psychological problems because of his recent surgery. But he committed no crime at all, it was immoral at best." Ronaldo's engagement to Maria Beatriz Antony was cancelled immediately after the prostitution scandal but resumed a little later. Maria Beatriz Antony gave birth to their first daughter, named Maria Sophia, in Rio de Janeiro, on 24 December 2008. In April 2009, the whole family moved to a new penthouse in São Paulo. On April 6, 2010, Maria Beatriz Antony gave birth to their second daughter. The girl, born in São Paulo, was named Maria Alice. Coincidently, Maria Alice was born exactly 10 years after her older brother Ronald. In December 2010, Ronaldo and his family moved to a new mansion in São Paulo. Also in December, Ronaldo performed a parental testing and confirmed to be the father of a boy named Alexander (born in April 2005). The boy was born after a brief relationship between Ronaldo and Michele Umezu, a Brazilian waitress whom Ronaldo first met in Tokyo, in 2002. After the confirmation of his fourth child, the striker declared that four is enough, causing him to "close the factory". So, on December 26, 2010, he revealed his recent vasectomy.
Since 2005, Ronaldo has been the co-owner of A1 Team Brazil, along with Brazilian motorsports legend Emerson Fittipaldi.









































































































































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