Brazil need Ronaldo for the World Cup

Avishek BanskotaContributor IMarch 24, 2017

Ronaldo Luis Nazario Da Lima finally returned to football after more than a year out through injury.

He is now enjoying football back in his native Brazil with Corinthians, and has scored four goals in the last five games. Ronaldo has really hit the headlines recently though, after declaring he wants to play in one last World Cup before he retires. 

We need to look at two things in determining whether Ronaldo will return to the national side.

Firstly, does he still have the ability to play for Brazil, and secondly, are there better players who could be in the squad?

Let me start by answering the first question.

Ronaldo has time and again proved all of his doubters wrong.

The three time FIFA World Player of the Year was, by many, regarded as a player of the past just before the World Cup in 2002.

He had suffered a succession of knee injuries, but Ronaldo came back as though he had never left. Ronaldo led Brazil to World Cup glory, finishing as the highest goal scorer, and second behind only the outstanding Oliver Kahn for the Golden Ball Award.

A move to Real Madrid followed, and in his four full seasons with Los Blancos, he was top scorer for the club each year, even though the club was marred with problems.

This is just one example of Ronaldo's resilience. He returned at Internazionale after his first knee injury and has defied the odds to score goals wherever he has played.

Of course, Ronaldo has to lose a little more weight, but if he does and maintains his fitness, part one of our problem is solved.

The second question is a little more difficult than the first one.

Brazil have always had excellent offensive players, and will continue to produce them. There are players like Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Diego, and Alexandre Pato who are sure of a place in the squad for the World Cup.

There are other players whose position is debatable. Some may argue that bringing Ronaldo back in the squad may stop the growth of players like Keirrison, Douglas Costa, and other young strikers.

However, none of these players can guarantee a performance on the biggest stage in world football, can they?

Even Ronaldo was just 17 when he travelled to World Cup 94, failing to play a single game. He was still playing in Brazil, as are the aforementioned youngsters.

Giving them a chance could be risky for Dunga, and weighing them down with responsibility will surely be too much for their young and inexperienced shoulders. 

Then there are players like Ronaldinho and Julio Baptista, who are either injured or far from top form. The last time Ronaldinho and Baptista played well was three years ago, when ‘Dinho was at Barcelona and Baptista still at Sevilla.

Adriano is another troublesome character, who is either too busy partying or injured. It is hard to see Adriano, off form for a few years now with two or three good games per season, reserve a seat on the flight to South Africa.

So then, who else would Dunga want to pick? Jo, Vagner Love, Rafael Sobis?

The best option is to pick Ronaldo. He is showing he is hungrier than ever (see the celebration for his first Corinthians goal), and would be a safe bet as a goal machine.