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Ronaldo Nazario - Brazilian legend
Star brings down Valentines curtain on romantic career
Posted Feb 16, 2011 by Legends
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Valentines Day 2011 will be a date that will live long in the memory of many around the world. Some because of the love they have shared. Some because of the gifts they’ve received. But for football fans worldwide it was the sad announcement that the greatest striker, even perhaps the greatest player, of the modern generation has been forced to hang up his boots. Forever, February 14th 2011 will mark the end of Brazilian legend, Ronaldo, as a professional footballer.
One of the most naturally gifted players to ever grace the game, the buck-toothed star will leave a career that could leave some divided on his qualities, he will leave a career of stunning superlatives and majestic highs coupled with staggering lows. He will leave debate and memories. He will leave a dynasty.
He is a legend.
Ronaldo Nazario was the best striker I have ever seen play since I’ve been following football. He made the game effortless and when he burst onto the European scene in the mid 1990s he was scoring goals for fun – something that continued until his final professional game.
Watching him at the World Cup in France in 1998, it was clear he had the world at his feet and he could surpass all that had been done before him. And in most part he did. His record is second to none and he can boast 326 goals in 466 professional games at club level taking in some of the game’s giants along the way. He scored for fun in Brazil (Cruzeiro 1993-94 – 45 games, 41 goals, and Corinthians 2009-11 – 31 games, 18 goals), in Holland (PSV Eindhoven 1994-95 – 58 games, 54 goals), Spain (Barcelona 1996-97 – 49 games, 47 goals, and Real Madrid 2002-07 – 164 games, 98 goals) and Italy (Inter Milan 1997-2002 – 99 games, 59 goals, and AC Milan 2007-08 – 20 games, nine goals).
He is the record scorer at World Cups with 15 goals surpassing the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, Gerd Muller and Romario. He is the one of two players to win the Fifa World Player of the Year award three times, the other being the sensational Zinedine Zidane.
Despite all this, his career could have been more glittering. A bold statement perhaps, but one that I believe is true. Ronaldo suffered horrendous knee injuries at crucial parts of his career and this hampered his ability to go on and make the most of the ability he had been blessed with. After these injuries he struggled with his weight and his fitness and this has eventually forced him out of the game.
I know many will remember the weight problem and other discrepancies from his personal life when they think of him, but to me Ronaldo will always be a footballer who I will fondly remember and he will definitely be one that I will tell the Grand kids about in years to come. A controversial figure at times, indeed, but he leaves a legacy that few can argue with.
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