The world of sports is a revolving door of great athletes, performers and entertainers, where age, injury and unforeseen circumstances curtail and conclude the careers of players from every sport in every arena.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, or just simply Ronaldo, is the greatest striker of his generation and arguably of all time. His retirement on February 14th signified the end of an unbelievable career marked by the fullest appreciation from fans of football all across the globe.
The Brazilian striker is without a doubt one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the beautiful game, and his awards and recognition speak volumes of his incredible ability.
His long list of honors include two World Cup titles with Brazil (1994, 2002), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (prior to it being folded into the Champions League) with Barcelona (1997), UEFA Cup title with Inter Milan (1998), FIFA World Player of the Year (1996, 1997, 2002), FIFA World Cup MVP (2002), UEFA Team of the Year (2002), Serie A Player of the Decade (1997-2007), Ballon D'or (1997, 2002). He is the FIFA World Cup's all-time leading scorer with 15 goals to his name.
Very few will match Ronaldo's lifetime achievements or his capabilities, but many are on the way to sculpting careers that may scrape that surface. Others are an entire career away.
Make no mistake. There is hardly anyone that will reach Ronaldo's peak, but there should be plenty who will fall in the same mountain range.
Let's identify the next 25 potential Ronaldos, the footballers who mimic the characteristics of the Brazilian, possess all of the tools of a complete forward and at the same time, have the capacity to influence the football community in dramatic fashion.