Rise and Fall of the Original Ronaldo
He was voted the best player on the planet a record three times!
He played for the biggest clubs in Europe, he's won many titles as well as the FIFA World Cup twice with Brazil, and was the top scorer in 2002.
He lived a life of luxury and fame, attending huge parties and mixing with the rich, famous and the beautiful.
He has scored an amazing total of 398 goals in 576 games!
So how has the World forgotten him?
And how can he only be the second most famous Ronaldo in the World?
The following showcases his great career: the rise, the fall, the rise, the fall and possibly another rise. This is the Original—not just fat—RONALDO...
The Beginning: Before Europe
Ronaldo made it as a professional footballer in 1993, when he made his debut with Brazilian club Cruzeiro. He scored a fantastic 42 goals in 45 games, quite brilliant for a 16 or 17-year-old!
He made his debut for the Brazil national team aged 17 in 1994. He was picked for the Brazil squad to travel to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA.
He didn't play but picked up a winners medal as Brazil defeated Italy to win the tournament.
The Rise: PSV, Barcelona, and World Player of the Year
He was spotted by Piet de Visser, a dutch scout, and was signed by PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 1994 for $6,000,000.
He scored an incredible 55 goals in 58 games during his two seasons in the Netherlands.
He won the Dutch Cup and was the Eredivisie top goal scorer. This led to a big summer move to European heavyweights FC Barcelona in 1996.
In his lone season in Barcelona, Ronaldo kept his unbelievable goal scoring record by netting 47 goals in 49 games, including becoming the top scorer in La Liga for the 1996/97 season with 34 goals. He remained the only player to score over 30 goals in La Liga until 2008/09.
Ronaldo was named the FIFA World Player Of The Year at the end of 1996, cementing his reputation as the best striker in Europe.
The Rise: Inter, World Record Transfer, World Player of the Year Again, and Global Superstar
After just one year with Barcelona, where he won the Cup Winner's Cup, Ronaldo signed for Internazional of Italy for a then World Record Transfer fee.
In 1997, Ronaldo signed with Inter for £19.5 million, and proved a good investment as he stormed to 34 goals in 47 games and took them to the UEFA Cup Final, where he scored their third goal to seal a comfortable 3-0 win against Lazio.
In December he was named the FIFA World Player Of The Year for the second time running.
The Fall: 1998 World Cup and the Famous Injury
Brazil were favourites to win the 1998 FIFA World Cup, mainly because of their star players Rivaldo and Ronaldo.
With so much hype and publicity, including appearing in many adverts for his sponsors Nike, Ronaldo was the focal point of the World Cup in France. But it was to be Zinedine Zidane that stole the show.
Ronaldo scored four and set up three goals during the campaign as Brazil reached the final to face the hosts, France. But the night before the huge Final, Ronaldo had a 'convulsive fit', and the whole World followed the story. But with 72 minutes until the match started, Ronaldo declared himself fit and played. But he had a terrible game, clearly still affected by his seizure, as Brazil lost 3-0 to France. Ronaldo was also injured during a freak collision with French goalkeeper Fabian Barthez (picture above).
Studies after the match, made at Birmingham University proved that Ronaldo should not have played the match as it was within 24 hours of his first fit and that he could not have played at his best or hurt himself.
But the worst point of his career happened in November 1999 while playing for Inter. Ronaldo ruptored a tendon in his right knee. This kept him out of action for around two years—with the exception of seven minutes. This injury would affect him for the rest of his career.
The Rise: Ronaldo's Comeback
Ronaldo returned to the Inter side fully after two years out. As he regained his form, scoring seven goals in 16 games, Ronaldo began preparing for the ultimate return: The 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.
The Rise: FIFA World Cup 2002
Ronaldo marked his remarkable comeback with a world class performance on the biggest stage of them all, 2002 FIFA World Cup.
There was much hype surrounding Ronaldo—and his new haircut. But his football stole the show in Japan and Korea as he scored eight goals to become the top scorer.
In the Final, between Germany and Brazil, Ronaldo more than made up for the misery of the 1998 Final by scoring two goals to beat Germany 2-0.
Brazil were the Champions Of The World for a record fifth time thanks to Ronaldo's displays. And Ronaldo was once again the Global Superstar.
The Rise: Real Madrid, World Player of the Year and Global Fame
Ronaldo became the latest "Galactico" of Real Madrid, after they had signed Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in previous years. They paid £29.5 million to sign him from Inter.
Despite not making his debut until October, fans at the massive Santiago Bernabeu stadium kept chanting his name. And he scored twice on his debut to win the Real fans hearts.
His worldwide fame rocketed as he continued his brilliant scoring record for the biggest team in the World. He became a UN Embassador, as well as endorsing many huge companies and brands.
Ronaldo was on top of the world!
The Fall: Injury, Weight, and AC Milan
Around 2004 many began noting Ronaldo's weight. Eventually his weight issues became obvious and a matter of public opinion.
With the rise of Cristiano Ronaldo, he began to fall into second place behind the young Portuguese winger. He even began being dubbed the "fat" Ronaldo.
Despite these issues, he went with Brazil to the World Cup and scored 4 goals, becoming the all time record goal scorer in World Cup history, scoring his 15th goal. But Brazilan fans began jeering him for being overweight and slow. Even the Brazilian President Lula questioned his weight and ability.
His drop in form was obvious, and he lost his place at Real Madrid to Ruud Van Nistlerooy. Ronaldo's knee injuries reoccured and couldn't hold his place at the club. Ronaldo left in January 2007 as he jumped to another big European club, AC Milan.
Much hype surrounded his return to the city of Milan and AC's new attacking line up of the Brazilians Kaka, Pato and Ronaldo, dubbed KaPaRo. And after 7 goals in 16 games he seemed to have been given a fresh start. But due to weight and fitness issues he only played 300 minutes the next season and ruptored his knee again, forcing him out for the rest of the season.
Despite Ronaldo being a Milan player when they won the Uefa Champions League Final against Liverpool, Ronaldo was cup tied so could not play (as he had played in the tournament earlier on for Real Madrid that season). So he has never won the European Champions League.
Ronaldo was released from his contract by AC Milan and returned to Brazil.
The Fall: Return To Brazil and Emission from Brazil Team
Ronaldo hasn't been picked for the Brazil team since the 2006 World Cup. But he claims he is not planning a return.
In the summer of 2008 Ronaldo returned to his home country of Brazil.
Ronaldo trained with his favourite team, Flamengo, but controversially joined their rivals in the Brazilian league, Corinthians, despite stating his love for Flamengo and saying he would "protect" them.
He made his debut for Corinthians on March 4th 2009 and scored his first goal on March 8th 2009.
He appears to be recapturing his form as he has scored 11 in 16 appearances! And rumours of a return to Europe, with Bayern Munich, have been circulating. He helped them win the Campeonato Paulista, the most prestigious tournament in the state of Sao Paulo.
Ronaldo has scored a total of 62 goals and has 92 caps with Brazil. He has scored 398 goals in 576 games in total.
He claims he wants to play for Brazil in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Is it possible Ronaldo will make one last comeback to the World stage? Watch out Cristiano!
Ronaldo: One for the Memories!
Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers ever, embracing David Beckham. Nothing weird at all.
Although he did have a scandal involving transvestites!