Without a doubt, the “real” Ronaldo (Luis Nazario de Lima) is one of my all time favourite players. For me when I was growing up and learning about football, this was the guy who pushed all the boundaries. He was the complete striker and it was a joy to watch him play.
For me, the greatest player of my generation.
You could make a film about this guys career, and I’m sure there’s something in the pipeline as we speak. Whatever you want to say about Ronaldo, the fact was that he had three career threatening injuries but had the belief and determination to come back every time. For me, along with all his achievements makes him of the of the greatest players to grace the game.
And just for the conspiracy theorists, his career also has that infamous World Cup Final story where he reportedly had fits in the early hours before the game. And depending on who you believe, there are several theories behind why he didn’t perform in that final.
So what about highlights of his career? Well he had a phenomenal season at Barcelona in 1996/1997 and the “redemption” World Cup in 2002, where he vanquished the demons of 1998 and scored twice in the final.
When I think about everything that Ronaldo has achieved and done in football, it is ridiculous to think “what if”. Because despite the fact he was simply awesome throughout his career, you have a feeling that without the problems in France 98 and the terrible injuries he had to endure, that he could have easily been the greatest player to play the game by a country mile. As it stands he is one of the greatest, that’s beyond question, but with a bit more luck he could have been the greatest.
Anyway, here’s a video tribute I found on YouTube. I’m sure there will be a lot of these coming up in the coming weeks and months. Credit: Patrick4HD.