Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima has made more comebacks than Rocky Balboa, the all-time leading world cup goal scorer who became a pro way back in 1993, has overcome more career threatening injuries then perhaps any other player in the history of soccer, and yet is still doing what he does best.
He finished his debut season with Corinthians scoring 23 goals in 38 games, some of which where breath taking, Although he had a few injuries during the season and was clearly playing overweight, Ronaldo was awarded the Campeonato Paulista best player of the year for 2009 in Brazil and has had many people in his home country, including the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva calling for his return to the national team.
However the coach Dunga, for the moment at least, has other ideas and seems to be happy with results and not too bothered about his team playing the samba style football that has made the yellow shirt one of the most recognisable in all of sports.
Ronaldo has not played for the national side since the last world cup and even Ronaldinho who is still playing a very high standard of football with AC Milan in Italy has been left out of Dunga’s squad for a long time.
Apart from Robinho, Kaka, and the current No. 9 Luis Fabiano, the team really lacks flair and excitement, Fabiano’s great record of 25 goals in 36 International games means that unless he is injured, he will be guaranteed a place in Dunga's squad that travel to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, but for now, his fellow striking partners are still to be decided,
The Brazilian league starts in January and Ronaldo has promised to work hard in the new year to do all he can to try and convince Dunga to give him one last World Cup Tournament, “I live my life working on and thinking about the Corinthians. I think of myself as a soldier when I think of the Selecao (Brazil national team), waiting to be called. I’m there.
"Especially since the Selecao has never had the custom of honouring players such as Cafu and Roberto Carlos. Selecao is our country, and for that I have to close the doors. If they need me, just call. I’m sure if I have a great first half (of the season), I will get the chance to be called. I will do my best, work first for the Corinthians and if I have a chance, then great,” expressed Ronaldo.
He certainly has the backing of the Brazil players, Kaka has expressed how pleased he would be to play alongside Ronaldo once more and the whole national team went to watch him play for Corinthians when they where on duty in Brazil. Even Adriano who is battling to get in the World Cup squad has stated that he does not want to stand in Ronaldo’s way.
But at the end of the day for Ronaldo to make the world cup it is down to two people, Ronaldo himself and Dunga, who will not be swayed by the Brazillian fans. “There are some players who do not need to be tested, but I’ll ask you something. Do not let the fans induce me into the same mistakes of the past,” said Dunga,
If Ronaldo is in shape, and scoring goals between the start of the season and the World Cup then Dunga would be a fool to leave him out. Who knows, come June we could get Cristiano Ronaldo vs the real Ronaldo when Portugal meet Brazil in the group stages of the tournament.