Ronaldo may be having trouble fitting into his jersey, but can he fit in the Brazil squad?
After just a short time at his new club, Corinthians, Ronaldo already has many of the big names in Brazilian soccer calling for his return to the Brazil team.
Most recently, Grafite, former Sao Paulo striker and the current top goal scorer in the Bundesliga, notching 20 goals for Wolfsburg, was posed a question about his chances of being called up to Dunga's Brazil squad for the spot vacated by Adriano's most recent temper tantrum.
He answered that "there is plenty (of competition). There is Vagner Love of CSKA Moscow. There is Hulk, who plays at Porto, there is Amauri who hasn't decided his situation...and that is just those outside of Brazil. There is Keirrison as well as Ronaldo who is on his way back."
Grafite has not been the only major name to comment on the possibility of Ronaldo's return to the stage that made him great. Romario also confessed "that as a Brazilian and also because I have a good relationship with Ronaldo, I hope that this (Ronaldo's participation in 2010 World Cup) happens."
Ronaldo holds a special place in Brazilian hearts. His unmatched cumulative World Cup goal scoring record ensures that he will always play a key role in Brazilian soccer. The question now is what that role will be. It is undeniable that although Ronaldo has been scoring goals for Corinthians, he has looked like anything but the world class player he once was.
In his latest appearance against Sao Paulo he looked heavy and lacked explosiveness as well as the agility that was so critical to his game previously. He struggled to find space and showed that he lacked his crispness as he missed a great chance to put the game out of reach for Sao Paulo.
Ronaldo has struggled for years with his weight and off-field scandals. His career has been marked with injuries and what many see as an excessive lifestyle.
That being said, Ronaldo is perhaps the best striker of his generation. When Ronaldo puts on the yellow jersey, we know to expect the magic he has always produced. He is a winner and his attitude is infectious. Many of the Brazil squad members, particularly Robinho, have said in the past that they see him as a big brother figure.
With so many of the key Brazilian stars struggling with personal issues and poor form on the field, such as Adriano, Ronaldinho, Robinho, Kaka (who has struggled with injury), Alexandre Pato (who has struggled to break into the Brazil team), perhaps the missing piece of Dunga’s puzzle has been the dynamic that Ronaldo brings to the squad.
Ronaldo has a long way to go and has addressed that issue in the press, stating that he “has never needed any favors to be called to the Brazil team.”
Although Ronaldo may not be the best player for the position, it is not far-fetched to think he may be the right player.