Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, in his pomp, was undoubtedly the best footballer in the world. With the ball at his feet, not many players could replicate the fear that the Brazilian generated in defenders when he surged with speed at them.
He was a striker who sometimes played as a winger - fearlessly with the ball - with his finishing and decision making being devastatingly good for the majority of his career. Ronaldo struggled with recurring knee problems which made him miss out on games, trophies and most importantly - a place alongside the likes of Diego Maradona and Pele.
One of football's most apt "What ifs?" can be said to be the alternate scene of world football had Ronaldo remained fully fit during the peak of his career. Tactics and strategies never interested Ronaldo, he just had one clear idea in mind - to get on the ball and run with it to score a goal.
Ronaldo's eventful journey took him to the heights at Inter Milan, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid while his most beautiful football moment came in a yellow shirt when he helped his homeland, Brazil to win the 2002 World Cup.
"Il Fenomeno" - The Phenomenon won every possible individual accolade that came in his way. He was an idol to the current legends of the game like Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic with his bullying style of play clearly evident in their illustrious careers as well.
Arguably the world's most dangerous striker had his fair share of controversies but he always rose above them with his brilliant goals and a peculiar smile on his face. Though Ronaldo was a much talked about public figure throughout his playing career, there are some facts about the Brazilian that have not come out in the open.
Right here, Sportskeeda reveals 9 facts that you probably didn't know about Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima:
#1 Played with the name 'Ronaldinho' till 1999 for his country
Ronaldo was just 17 and an unused substitute when he was included in the Brazil squad that won the 1994 World Cup. The Samba boys already had a Ronaldo in the team before the youngster arrived in the first team squad.
Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus or Ronaldao (which translates to Big Ronaldo in Portuguese) was the senior member of the squad, hence the 17-year-old came to limelight as Ronaldinho (translating to Little Ronaldo).
During the 1996 Olympics, Ronaldo played with the name 'Ronaldinho' on the back of his shirt as Brazil won the bronze medal. Three years late, another youngster with the same name joined the first team squad. Therefore, Ronaldo de Asis Moreira became the world famous 'Ronaldinho' that we all know while Ronaldo retained his original name for the rest of his career.