Ronaldo Luis Nezario de Lima is a deadly striker of all times. Popularly known as Ronaldo, he has played for top teams of Europe such as PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and AC Milan. He is currently with Brazilian club Corinthians. ” El Fenomeno” is his nickname. He marched into the world football scene as a teenage sensation. He has won two world cups with Brazil. He won world footballer of the year thrice in 1996, 1997, and 2002. Ronaldo was the youngest player ever to win that award as well as the first one win in consecutive years. He also won European player of the year award twice, in 1997 as well as 2002. He is the leading scorer for Brazil in world cups with 15 goals. Many consider him as a better player than Pele. Though injuries marred his career on many occasions, his eye for goal has never diminished. He has terrific dribbling skills as well as clinical finishing skills.
Ronaldo was born on 18th September 1976 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started his football journey from streets of Rio de Janeiro, where he used to play as a kid. He played for youth team of tennis club valqueire from 1986 to 1989.he joined Social Ramos Youth club for in 1990.However his life changed during his stint with Sao Cristovao. He played for them from 1990 to 1993.His performances for Cristovao did not go unnoticed, as former Brazilian International Jairzinho spotted Ronaldo and tipped him to be future prospect.
As per the recommendation of Jairzinho, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube signed 18-year-old Ronaldo for their senior team in 1993. He made huge impression during his stint with Cruzeiro with his tall of 12 goals in just 13 matches. This caught the attention of European club PSV Eindhoven. They signed him for 6 million dollars in 1994. He scored 54 goals in all competitions in just 57 matches for PSV. That is certainly a great scoring ratio for any striker. He was the top goal scorer in Dutch league in 1995.He won his first silverware with PSV, Dutch cup in 1996.European giants Barcelona prised him away from PSV to Spain. In 1996, he won Spanish super cup with Barcelona. In 1997, Ronaldo went on to win UEFA cup winners cup as well as Spanish Cup with Barcelona. With an amazing tally of 34 goals in just 37 matches, he was the top scorer in La Liga that season. He won the European golden boot as well during that season.
In 1997, Inernazionale signed Ronaldo for then world record Transfer fee of $ 26.7 million. He won UEFA cup in 1998 with Internazionale. However, injuries reduced his appearances for Inter Milan considerably. In 1999, he had knee injury, which kept him out of action for some month. He got injured again in 2000, which effectively kept him out of the pitch for almost 36 months. He scored 59 goals during his stint with Inter Milan.
Real Madrid signed him in 2002 for around 39 million Euros. Ronaldo won intercontinental cup with Real Madrid in 2002.He won la liga as well as Spanish super cup with them in 2003. He played alongside galacticos such as Raul, Figo, Roberto Carlos, Zidane, and Beckham during his Real Madrid stint. He was the top scorer in La Liga during 2003/2004 season. In 2003, he played role in Real Madrid’s Champions League run, which ended in semi-finals. He scored 83 league goals for Real Madrid. Fitness problems and reduced appearances on pitch forced Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid for AC Milan, even though Top brass of Real Madrid wished to retain him. He had to buyout his contract.
In January 2007, he joined Milan for a fee in the legion of $7.8 million. Ronaldo found his feet back and scored seven goals that season for Milan. His fitness and injury problems affected him again during 2008 season, which effectively sidelined him. He scored only two goals that season. Knee injury ended his Milan Career, as they did not renew his contract though he was recovering.
Ronaldo started his International career with Brazilian under-17 team. Even though he was a squad member of world cup winning team in 1994, he was on bench. He won copa America with Brazil in 1997 as well as 1999. He was the top scorer of copa America in 1999. In 1998 world cup, he helped Brazil to reach the final with four goals. He won the golden ball in that tournament. However, his mysterious illness affected his performance in that final and Brazil lost the final to France. In 2002, Ronaldo inspired Brazil to their fifth world cup glory. He was the top scorer in the tournament with eight goals and won the golden shoe for his efforts. In 2006, he was not in perfect shape and there were calls for axing him from world cup squad. However, his three goals in the tournament took his world cup overall tally to 15 goals, which is a record. Brazil lost out to France in quarterfinal stage. Ronaldo has scored in three world cups. After 2006 world cup, Ronaldo has not played for Brazil, as Coach Dunga preferred other players. Ronaldo has scored 62 goals for Brazil in 97 matches.
Many wrote off Ronaldo. However, he dreams about playing for Brazil again in 2010 world cup. Flamengo allowed him train with them while he was recovering. However after unsuccessful in finding a deal with clubs in Europe, he chose to join Corinthians in 2009.He found his scoring touch again as he scored 10 goals in just 14 matches to help Corinthians to lift Campeonato Paulista. He is currently playing for them in Brazilian league. Ronaldo is a true legend amongst the current football team players, as his career is not over yet.