The real Ronaldo
First of all i have to say that by saying the real Ronaldo i did not mean to disrespect Cristiano Ronaldo( he is definetlly one of the best football players in modern football), but to show my apprecciation to Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima and what he has done for football.
I remember watching him show his magic skills while i was still a kid and i even think that he was the one that made me love football.
His career started in Cruzeiro, where he scored 12 goals in 14 apperances. At that point he showed his enormous talent and attracted attention of PSV, for which he played 1994-1996. Although he had his first knee injury that kept him out for more than half his seaseon, he maneged to score more than 40 goals during his time in PSV.
He joined Barcelona in 1996 and scored unbelivable 47 goals in 49 matches. That was the season he won his first Fifa Player of the year award. He was only 20 years old. Next season he played in Inter since Barcelona couldnt renegotiate his contract. Once again a great season in which he won his second Fifa Player of the year award.
But then the injuries came. First he had a convulsive fit before the final game in World Cup 1998, but still he played that game. Brazil lost 3-0 to France.
The next injury, which really scared me, happened on 21 November 1999. At a game vs Lecce he had to limb off the pitch, after which he was diagnosed a tendon rupture in his knee. This required surgery which kept him out of football for about 6 months. On his comeback vs Lazio in 2000 a new disaster struck him. He was only playing for 7 minutes when he renewed his knee injury. Another surgery, another pause...
He was out from football for 2 years. Football was just not the same for me.
I was delighted to see him comeback on World Cup 2002, leading Brazil to their 5th WC title. He scored 8 goals(2 in final) and won his 3rd Fifa Player of the year award. Only he and Zidane were awarded this for 3 times.
Then he returned to Spain, but now he joined Galacticos, where he won another title and more awards. I will always remember amazing match and his hat - trick vs Manchester United, one of the best matches i ever watched. But AGAIN injury... After he recovered he was not in plans of Fabbio Cappelo, which was the coach of Real Madrid at that time.
His career continued in Milan where he played season 2007/2008, where he was the part of attacking trio with Kaka and Pato. Another ligament rupture in his left knee, for the third time. I thought that was it, the end of his career...
And it was, but only in Europe. And this was a very sad thing for me, since he never won Uefa Champions League. He was closest to it with Real Madrid in 2003, when they lost to Juventus in semi-final.
He continued to play in 2009 for brazilian team Corinthians. There he won Campeonato Paulista and the brazilian cup and announced that he would retire in 2011.
And it happened. In February 2011 he retired. Football has lost one of its greatests ever. His farewell match was on June 7 when Brazil played a friendly match vs Romania.
17 year career, filled with ups and downs(mostly by injuries), was over. 8 surgeries, 616 appearances, 420 goals, 2 World Cups, 2 Copa America, 2 Brazilian Championship titles, 2 Brazilian Cups, 2 La Liga Champion titles, Copa del Rey, 2 Spanish Supercups, Uefa Cup winner, 3 times Footballer of the year, 2 Balon d'or, Top scorer in La Liga, World Cup best scorer of all time and many more...
In 2010 he was awarded The best player of the Decade.
Who knows if we will ever get someone like you Ronaldo, but we will never forget you, thats for sure...
GreatSir Bobby Robson about Ronaldo:
“Can anybody, anywhere, show me a better player?”
And its true, he was the best for me...