Jump to content

Really Good to See

Recommended Posts

Great to see Ronaldo back and scoring again. OK, the Brazilian league may not be up to much but he is/was such a wonderful player. Really like the sly but affectionate line highlighted in this article from the Guardian.


Cuddly comeback king Ronaldo eating balls again



Exactly a year ago one of Brazil's greatest footballers sat despondent in a Rio de Janeiro police station. It was the crack of dawn and after a late night on the tiles and an alleged argument with a transvestite called Andre inside a Rio sex motel, public humiliation beckoned for Ronaldo, the leading World Cup goalscorer of all time.


The coming weeks saw Ronaldo dragged across Brazil's front pages for his late-night antics; the one-time Brazilian hero became the subject of vicious criticism, television satire and sarcastic speculation. He was too fat. He was too rich. He was too lazy. And what on earth had he been getting up to with three transvestites inside that love hotel?


Twelve months on, however, and all has been forgiven. The man Brazilians call the Phenomenon is back. Since making his debut for Sao Paulo side Corinthians in March, Ronaldo has scored eight goals in nine matches, leading the club's director to suggest making a film about his Hollywood-esque comeback, Brazil's most famous rapper to release a homage to the striker and fans (among them the country's president) to call for Ronaldo's immediate return to the national team.


When Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, commented this week that Ronaldo was "eating balls" it was a reference to the number of goals he has been scoring rather than to any off-field escapades with Rio's tranvestite community.


"I think that if he came back to the national side it would be extraordinary," said Lula, referring to Ronaldo as "fofão" or cuddly, the name of a chubby doll who presented Brazilian kids TV in the 1980s. "I admire people who never give up."


Those who, just a few months ago, wrote of Ronaldo's comeback as a cynical marketing ploy have been silenced by his dramatic return. Even Juca Kfouri, one of Brazil's best known and most skeptical football writers, has joined the chorus of praise, describing Ronaldo as the best player in the Sao Paulo championship this year.


The latest demonstration that, at 32, Ronaldo is still one of the world's top strikers came on Sunday, when Corinthians took on local rivals Santos in the first leg of the state championship final. With Pele, the Santos idol and Brazil's king of football, looking on from the stands Ronaldo scored twice in Corinthians' 3-1 victory, putting his side a whisker away from the state title.


On 25 minutes Ronaldo powered home his first goal with his left foot after killing the ball with a superb piece of control. The second goal, an immaculate chip over the Santos goalkeeper, came on 75 minutes after a nifty back-heel and sent hysteria crashing through the away fans.


They were, as Brazilian football fans say, golaços, or 'great goals'. And the unwritten rule in Brazilian football is that, 'He who scores golaços, could end up in the police station with 1,000 transvestites and it wouldn't make any difference.' "It was a goal worthy of Pele," Pele said after the game, with trademark modesty. Ronaldo was equally pleased with himself. "Each goal I score, I lose a kilo," he told reporters.


The controversy is not completely behind Ronaldo. The Brazilian version of Playboy recently published a colourful account of Ronaldo's allegedly drunken attempts to sneak into the team hotel earlier this year with a high-class call girl. Smutty jokes about his extra-curricular activities still bring glee to bar tables across the country. But for now at least public opinion is firmly behind the Phenomenon.


This week nearly 2,000 readers weighed in on a poll published by the Globo newspaper website, asking whether Ronaldo should be reinstated to the Brazil side. Nearly 70% said Ronaldo deserved the chance to lead his country's attack again.


The Brazilian press is now reporting that several European clubs are considering bringing Ronaldo back to the Old World, while president Lula has even suggested that "cuddly" Ronaldo might represent a solution to the world financial crisis.


Even that might be beyond Brazil's comeback king. But if Ronaldo keeps eating balls the 2010 World Cup in South Africa suddenly looks like a distinct possibility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...