Ronaldo Luís Nazário de lima is commonly known as Ronaldo. He was born on 18 September 1976, is a Brazilian business owner, president of Segunda División club Real Valladolid, owner of Brasileiro Série B club Cruzeiro, and a retired professional footballer who played as a striker. Popularly dubbed O Fenômeno ("The Phenomenon"), and also nicknamed R9, he is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time. As a multi-functional striker who brought a new dimension to the position, Ronaldo has been the influence for a generation of strikers that have followed. His accolades include being named FIFA World Player of the Year three times and winning two Ballon d'Or awards.
Interesting facts about Ronaldo Nazario
Played with the name Ronaldinho till 1999 for his country
During the 1994 world cup Ronaldo was just 17 and an unused substitute when he was included in the Brazilian squad. Also, Brazil won the world cup in 1994. The Samba boys already had Ronaldo in the team before the youngster arrived in the first team squad. Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus or Ronaldo (which translates to Big Ronaldo in Portuguese) was the senior member of the squad, hence the 17-year-old came to the limelight as Ronaldinho (translating to Little Ronaldo). After a few years, another youngster with the same name joined the 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.
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Youngest recipient of the Ballon d'Or honor
Ronaldo joined FC Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven for a world record fee of £19 million in 1996. He was just 20 when he made a move to the Spanish giants. He scored a staggering 47 goals in 49 appearances for Barcelona which helped the Catalans to the Spanish Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. At 21 years of age, he won the FIFA player of the year award and coveted the French football Ballon d'Or prize in 1997. The record still stands strong as only Michael Owen came close to snatching that record away from Ronaldo when he won the ballon d'Or back in 2001.
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Giving Nesta his worst experience
The UEFA cup final in 1998 in Paris between Inter Milan and Lazio saw Ronaldo change his perception from a world-class player to a phenomenon. The match was labeled as the best upcoming attacker in ronaldo vs the best upcoming defender in Lazio's Alessandro Nesta. But in the 90 minutes, it became evident that the match-up turned out to be a walk in the park for the Brazilian. Inter beat their Italian counterparts 3-0 with Ronaldo scoring the final goal on the night. Nesta admitted after the game, "It was the worst experience of my career. He was simply unstoppable."
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Ronaldo received a standing ovation at Old Trafford
On 23 April 2003, Old Trafford witnessed the European classic as Manchester United took on Real Madrid in the champions league quarter-final. In that match, Ronaldo scored a hattrick by spoiling their party with the match ending 4-3 in favor of the red devils. After scoring a well-deserved treble, the smiling assassin was substituted amidst a surprising standing ovation from the entire crowd as well as the Madrid directors which took even the player back for a moment.
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The Brazilian suffered from hypothyroidism
Two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo was body-shamed by the fans, media and even by his fellow managers when he started to gain weight in the latter part of his career. When he announced his retirement in 2011 due to health reasons, Ronaldo revealed that he suffered from hypothyroidism. He came to know about this 4 years ago and to continue playing he had to take hormone injections which were later banned by the regulatory board hence he called it a day.
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The Brazilian co-owned many sports teams after retirement
Along with motorsport legend Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronaldo was the co-owner of racing team A1 Team Brazil. He also formed a sports marketing company called 9INe, with his friend Anderson Silva. An avid Poker player, Ronaldo became a member of Pokerstars SportsStar in 2013. He also played a charity poker game against tennis superstar Rafael Nadal in 2014. He was also appointed as the Goodwill ambassador by the United Nations and the Brazilian also worked for many charitable organizations after retirement.
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