Social Ramos Club (Brazil), São Cristóvão de Futebol e Regatas (Brazil),
Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte (Brazil), PSV Eindhoven (Holland), FC
Barcelona (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain)
1990-1991 UEFA Most Valuable Player: 1998
FIFA World Cup
2002 Golden Boot - 8 goals
2002 Silver Ball - 2nd Best Player
2002 - Winner
1994 - Winner
1998 Golden Ball - Best Player
Copa América: 1997, 1999
UEFA Cup: 1998
Cup Winners' Cup: 1997
Dutch Cup: 1996
La Liga - Primera División champions: 2003
Intercontinental Cup: 2002
European Super Cup: 2002
Ronaldo (b. September 22, 1976 in Bento
Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), simply known as Ronaldo, is a
Brazilian footballer (he also has Spanish nationality) who plays
as a forward for Brazil and Real Madrid. He has been nicknamed O
Fenômeno ("The Phenomenon"). Ronaldo's speed, dribbling ability
and scoring instincts have made him one of the best strikers of
the modern era.
Ronaldo was born in Bento Ribeiro, a poor neighbourhood in Rio
de Janeiro, in 1976. Like many of his contemporaries, he began
to play soccer in the streets of his neighbourhood. In 1982, he
scored a goal against his neighborhood's biggest rivals, the
Pico dela Mirandona Neighborhood District.
Ronaldo's footballing abilities were first recognised when he
was 14. He was recommended to the Brazil youth team by World Cup
winner Jairzinho, who also arranged for his own former club,
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, to sign the boy when he was old enough
for a professional contract.
In 1993, at the age of 16, Ronaldo already had scored 59 goals
in 57 matches for Brazil's under-17 squad. By 1994 he had joined
the national senior squad, although he did not actually play in
the 1994 World Cup in the United States. During World Cup '94,
he was given the name "Ronaldinho", to distinguish him from
Ronaldão in the squad.
Ronaldo's European career began when he joined PSV Eindhoven for
the 1994-1995 season. He became the Dutch top scorer and
attracted the attention of Spain's FC Barcelona. He played for
Barça in the 1996-1997 season, scoring 34 goals in 37
appearances, then transferred to Inter Milan the following year.
Voted the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997, he had
a comparatively disappointing performance during the 1998 World
Cup, scoring only four goals. Brazil lost the final to the hosts
France after he suffered a mysterious fit the night before. Some
questioned the decision to play Ronaldo in the final because of
the possible physiological aftereffects of the fit. This was the
start of a career nightmare for the striker lasting nearly four
A year later, he severely injured his right knee and was out of
the game for several months. During his first comeback in 2000,
he managed to play only seven minutes during a league game
against Lazio before injuring his knee for a second time.
After two operations and twenty months of rehabilitation,
Ronaldo managed a comeback during the 2002 World Cup. Later in
2002 he was awarded the title of World Player of the Year for
the third time, and transferred from Inter Milan to Real Madrid
for £27,000,000, after frequent disputes with Inter Milan coach
Héctor Cúper. His transfer to Madrid was the subject of a media
frenzy not just laced with the usual hype because of his
reputation, but more so because he was now the third successive
'Galactico' (or superstar) signed in as many years by the
Spanish Giants as part of their famously hubristic policy of
signing the world's biggest superstar football players in order
to maintain their levels of success whilst broadening their
reaches of fame.
This move further underlines Ronaldo's image as a "mercenary"
who even though got paid a huge amount of money by Inter and
been treated with utmost care through his injuries, has left
Inter without ever winning them a Championship ("Scudetto").
Ronaldo was such a well known signing that sales of his shirt on
the day of his signing alone broke all records the world over.
Proof of his fame came with the fact that even though Ronaldo
was sidelined through injury until October 2002, fans continued
to chant his name in the stands. When Ronaldo finally made his
debut and scored the second of his brace from Steve McManaman's
pass, it was clear for all to see that the goalscoring Ronaldo
of old had returned to club football at last. That same
reception was observed on the night of the final game of the
season against Athletic Bilbao, where Ronaldo scored yet again
to seal his first season with 22 league goals (not including the
goals in the UEFA Champions League that included a hat-trick in
the away at Manchester United), and most importantly, the
coveted La Liga Championship title for 2003, where Ronaldo had
previously failed to win whilst at FC Barcelona. In the most
recent clash between the bitter rivals, (Real & Barcelona),
Ronaldo rushed back from an injury for the sake of this match,
which, quite surprisingly, ended in a humiliating defeat for
Real. In contrast, Ronaldo's compatriot, Ronaldinho, contributed
two goals against Real and subsequently was named as the
European Footballer of 2005.
On June 2, 2004, Ronaldo scored an unusual hat-trick for Brazil
against arch-rivals Argentina in a CONMEBOL qualifier for the
2006 World Cup. He scored all of Brazil's 3 goals from the
In April 1999, Ronaldo married Milene Domingues. The marriage
lasted four years and ended in divorce. The couple had a son,
Ronald (born 2000).
In 2005 he got engaged and married Brazilian model and MTV VJ
Daniella Cicarelli, who became pregnant but suffered a
miscarriage, their relationship lasted only 3 months. He is
currently dating model, Raica Oliveira.
All in all, even though Ronaldo enjoyed success (WC 2002) with
the overall great Brazilian teams that assisted his goals, he
has failed to reach glory in the clubs he played for. Ronaldo
never won a championship in Holland nor in Spain nor in Italy.
He failed at the "Scudetto Races" against Juventus both at 1998
and 2002, and lost the personal "battle" with Juventus icon
Alessandro Del Piero. Many experts and football fans feel that
he could have achieved more if he had been more serious. The
football world agree that his talent is second to none.
Ronaldo made his international debut for Brazil in 1994 against
Argentina. He went on to be the top scorer during the 2002 World
Cup, winning the Golden Boot after bagging eight goals, two of
those in the final against Germany, and equaling Pelé's
Brazilian record of 12 World Cup goals, after the four he scored
in the 1998 tournament. As of October 2005, he has scored 57
goals in 90 games.