Former Brazil striker Ronaldo announced his retirement today telling a reporter “I can’t take it any more. I wanted to carry on, but I can’t. I plan a move [in a game] but I cannot execute it. My time is up; but dammit it was nice.”
Ronaldo has to be on anyones list of the best players of the last 25-years. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year three times and is the highest scorer in World Cup finals history with 15, the last two in the 2-0 victory that gave Brazil the trophy in 2002.
He was a prolific scoring machine across Europe, scoring 273 goals in 402 games for PSV Eindhoven, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Real Madrid and AC Milan. The only trophy that eluded him was the Champions League.
I will always remember the quarter-final tie between Man United and Real Madrid in 2003. Madrid arrived at Old Trafford 3-1 up after the first leg of their quarter-final and Sir Alex Ferguson said the key to turning it around was keeping Ronaldo quiet but, in the event, “we simply couldn’t do it”.
Ronaldo was simply brilliant that night, scoring a hat-trick and receiving a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd when he was substituted midway through the second half.
Here are some highlights of the great Ronaldo