Ronaldo Nazario Biography
Ronaldo Luís Nazário Lima, popularly known as Ronaldo is a former Brazilian footballer. He was born on September 18, 1976 in Itagui, Brazil.
Ronaldo was an extraordinary striker who scored 62 goals in 98 matches for Brazil's Seleccao.
Ronaldo developed his passion for football in his early school days and at the age of 12, he dropped out of the school to play soccer. He joined an indoor club called Ramos Indoor Soccer Club.
He joined the Sao Crustovao Football Club as a junior player and in 1993, he made his debut in professional football for Cruzeiro.
He played his first match against Caldense club. He went on to score 5 goals in the match against Bahia which brought him to the limelight.
His performance in the 1993 Brazil Cup led Cruzeiro win the championship. Later on, Cruzeiro won the Minas Gerais Championship in 1994 due to Ronaldo’s star performance.
Ronaldo made his international debut in the 1994 FIFA World Cup for Brazil. He played his match against Netherlands but failed to get a goal.
He saw his team win the World Cup that year but he hadn't made any contribution to it. His first international goal came against Netherlands in the 1998 World Cup, when he scored a goal in the 46th minute. He even scored in the penalty shootout goal later in that match.
Rise to Glory
Ronaldo rose to glory soon after the World Cup ended. His skills on the field were just exceptional. The way he flew past defenders with his stepovers were a joy to watch.
His list of titles includes the KNVB Beker in 1995-96, the Super Cup and the UEFA Winners’ Cup in 1996-97, the UEFA Europa League in 1997-98, the Copa America in 1999 and the La Liga in 2002-03. The list isn't exhaustive and there are a number of times his team stood second in the tournament.
He won the Golden Boot twice in the FIFA World Cup, in 1998 and 2002. In the 2006 World Cup, his World Cup goals count reached 15, that is the highest by any player.
Like every other player, even Ronaldo had low points in his career.
He suffered from a broken knee tendon in 1999 and went out of action. But when he returned after almost 20 weeks, he injured the knee again which took him out for two years.
But he returned in 2002 and even won the FIFA World Cup that year.
Ronaldo played for various clubs in his career. He started off with Cruzeiro but in 1994, he joined the PSV Eindhoven and went on to score 54 goals in two seasons he played. He also made the club win the Dutch Cup in 1996 and was also the Top Scorer in the tournament.
In the 1996-97 season, he joined Barcelona Football Club and starred there. He scored 47 goals that season and also helped the club to win the UEFA Winners’ Cup. He was the Top Scorer in the La Liga with 37 goals and won the European Golden Boot that year.
He joined the Inter Milan Club in 1997 and led the team to their victory in the 1997 UEFA Europa League. But he suffered from injuries during his association with the club and hence, he couldn't take the club to great heights.
Ronaldo associated himself with the Real Madrid in 2002 and it was great for the club. He helped the club seal various titles such as the Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup and the La Liga. He scored a goal for the club in under 15 seconds which remains the fastest in its history. But once he was released, he didn't have an impressive career with the clubs he played for like AC Milan and the Corinthians.
Ronaldo retired in 2011 and played his last match in a friendly game against Romania. He couldn't score a goal in that match but received an ovation from the fans.