Few footballers have inspired as much admiration and respect as Ronaldo. The Brazilian striker was a fearsome opponent on the pitch, and his performances for both club and country were truly exceptional. However, Ronaldo’s career was not without its challenges, and in recent years he has been the subject of much scrutiny. In this blog, we will attempt to demystify the legend of Ronaldo, and examine his career in some detail. We hope you enjoy it!
Who is Ronaldo?
Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a striker for the Spanish club Real Madrid and is the captain of the Brazilian national team.
Ronaldo’s early years
Ronaldo was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 18, 1976. The youngest child of Nelio Nazario de Lima and Sonia dos Santos Barata, he had a troubled upbringing in the slums of Rio.
Ronaldo began playing football (soccer) at an early age, and his passion for the sport was evident from the start.
He made his debut with the club’s senior team later that year, and he quickly established himself as one of Portugal’s top players. In 1996, Ronaldo joined Spanish giant FC Barcelona for a then-record transfer fee of $19 million. He helped lead Barcelona to victory in the Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey) in 1997 before moving to Inter Milan of Italy in 1998.
Ronaldo’s time at Barcelona
In 1996, Ronaldo signed with Barcelona for a world record fee of $19.5 million,” a signing bonus of $1.5 million and a net annual salary of $4.5 million.” In his first season with the club, he helped lead Barcelona to a Copa del Rey win and scored 47 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions. Furthermore, he shared the European Golden Shoe with Johan Cruyff of Barcelona. His second season was just as successful, as he scored 34 La Liga goals and was once again named the FIFA World Player of the Year, as well as the Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo’s time at Inter Milan
Ronaldo adapted quickly to his new club, scoring 14 goals in his debut season. In the 1998-1999 season, Ronaldo scored 25 goals in 34 appearances, leading Inter to a third-place finish in Serie A. The following year was even more successful for Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid
After six years with Inter Milan, Ronaldo transferred to Real Madrid in a world record move worth €62.8 million.
Ronaldo scored twice in Madrid’s 3–0 win. The following week he netted another brace, this time away to Racing de Santander, in a 6–1 rout.
Ronaldo’s return to Brazil
It was an emotional return for Ronaldo, who had not played in Brazil since he left Corinthians for PSV Eindhoven in 1994. “I’m going back home,” he said at the time. “I’m going to where I started my career, where I became a man.”
Milan, on the other hand, was not so pleased.
He left Corinthians in December 2009 and returned to Milan, before announcing his retirement from football in February 2011.
Ronaldo’s international career
Ronaldo began his international career with Brazil at the age of 18, and he played in every major tournament from the 1994 World Cup to the 2006 World Cup. He is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup, with 15 goals in 19 appearances.
Ronaldo also played for Brazil in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in 1996. He retired from international football after the 2006 World Cup.
He was a prolific goalscorer, gifted playmaker, and tireless worker on the pitch.
Ronaldo is also one of the most marketable athletes in the world, with numerous endorsement deals throughout his career.