Ronaldo Luís Nazário de LimaLegendary Brazil Footballer
- Date of Birth
- September 18, 1976
- Place of Birth
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
- Playing Position
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (locally: [ʁoˈnawðu ˈlwiʒ nɐˈzaɾju dʒ ˈɫĩmɐ]; born 18 September 1976), commonly known as Ronaldo, is a retired Brazilian footballer. Popularly dubbed “the phenomenon”, he is considered by experts and fans to be one of the greatest football players of all time. He is one of only four players to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times or more, along with Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He also won the Ballon d’Or twice, in 1997 and again in 2002.
Considered by many one of the best strikers of all time, in 2007 he was named in the greatest ever starting eleven by France Football magazine and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the greatest living players compiled by Pelé. He was inducted Into the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2015. In February 2011, Ronaldo announced his retirement from professional football after an 18-year career.
Ronaldo played for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 goals, and is the second highest goalscorer for his national team. Aged 17, he was a part of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1998 World Cup he received the Golden Ball for player of the tournament in helping Brazil reach the final where he suffered a convulsive fit hours before the defeat to France. He won a second World Cup in 2002 where he scored twice in the final, and received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal, which was a World Cup record at the time.
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. Since 2000, Ronaldo has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned with helping move the world against poverty. In January 2013 he was named one of the six Ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
In 1993, Ronaldo began his football career playing for Cruzeiro. Aged 16, he made his professional debut on 25 May 1993 against Caldense in the Minas Gerais State Championship. Ronaldo came to national public attention on 7 November 1993, scoring five goals in the game against Bahia.
Ronaldo scored 44 goals in 47 games with Cruzeiro, leading them to their first Copa do Brasil in 1993, and the Minas Gerais State Championship in 1994. Before joining Cruzeiro, he was turned down by his boyhood favourite team Flamengo, but Brazilian World Cup legend Jairzinho saw Ronaldo’s potential and helped get him the move to Cruzeiro.