Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Lethal Striker : Ronaldo (Brazil)

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima born 18 September 1976 is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is considered by experts and fans as one of the greatest football players of all time. In 2012, he was voted Goal.com's "Player of the Decades" in an online poll, gathering 29.55% of all votes. He won his first Ballon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year in 1997 and won the award again in 2002. 

He is one of only three men to have won the FIFA Player of the Year award three times, along with Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi.
Considered by many as the most complete striker in the past 30 years, in 2007, he was named as one of the best starting 11 of all-time by France Football and was named to the FIFA 100, a list of the greatest footballers compiled by Pelé. In 2010, he was voted Goal.com's "Player of the Decade" in an online poll, gathering 43.63 percent of all votes and was also included as centre forward in the "Team of the Decade". On 23 February 2010, Ronaldo announced that he would retire after the 2011 season, signing a two-year contract extension with the Corinthians at the same time. 

Ronaldo has played for Brazil in 98 international matches, scoring 62 goals. He was a part of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 and 2002 World Cups. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo became the highest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup with his fifteenth goal, surpassing Gerd Müller's previous record of 14. He is the only player to have won the World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot in separate tournaments. Having suffered a string of serious injuries throughout his career, Ronaldo retired on 14 February 2011, citing pain and hypothyroidism as the reasons for his premature retirement.

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 United States as a 17-year-old, but did not play. He came to be known as Ronaldinho ("little 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 centreback Ronaldo Guiaro, two years his senior, was one of his teammates. Brazil went on to win the bronze medal in Atlanta.

1998 FIFA World Cup
He entered the 1998 FIFA World Cup and was billed by reporters and experts as the world's greatest footballer. He scored four goals and made three assists. 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's performance was below par and he was injured in a collision with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Brazil lost the final to hosts France 3–0.[27] 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."  

2002 FIFA World Cup 

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.

2006 FIFA World Cup

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. Brazil, however, were knocked out by France 1–0 in the quarter-finals. 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 the 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.

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