Ronaldo Ronaldo
footballer
Ronaldo Ronaldo
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is considered by experts and fans as one of the greatest football players of all time. In 2011, he was voted Goal. com's "Player of the Decades" in an online poll of the Spanish version of the website, gathering 29.55% of all votes. He won his first Ballon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year in 1997 and won the award again in 2002.
Biography
Ronaldo's personal information overview.
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    THIRTIES
  • 2015
    Age 38
    Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the next year's match on 21 April 2015 in St Etienne, France, with proceeds going towards the African countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic.
    More Details Hide Details He, together with Romário and George Weah, reinvented the centre-forward position. Ronaldo is regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest and most complete forwards of all time. Dubbed Il Fenômeno (the phenomenon), he was a prolific goalscorer, and despite being more of an individualistic attacker, he was also capable of providing assists for his team-mates, due to his vision, passing and crossing ability. He was an extremely powerful, fast, and technical player, as well as being a composed finisher. He was capable of playing in several offensive positions, although his preferred role was that of a striker, and he was able to use both feet, despite being naturally right footed. Ronaldo was highly regarded for his technical ability, and he is considered one of the most skilful individual dribblers in the game. Ronaldo, Il Fenomeno. Why? Because he was my idol and because, as a football player, he was complete. In one on one situations, Ronaldo would often use elaborate feints to trick and beat defenders and goalkeepers; he most notably popularised the use of many football tricks and skills, such as the elastico, the step over, the nutmeg, among others. In his prime, Ronaldo was an extremely fast player with great acceleration, which made him a threat for opposing defences when he undertook individual dribbling runs during counter-attacks. His coach at Barcelona, Bobby Robson, commented: "He was the fastest thing I've ever seen running with the ball.
  • 2014
    Age 37
    On 11 December 2014, Ronaldo became a minority owner of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League.
    More Details Hide Details Ronaldo has been sponsored by sportswear company Nike since the early part of his career. In 1996, Nike signed Ronaldo to a 10-year contract and to a lifetime endorsement deal worth over $180 million. He is closely associated with the original Nike Mercurial R9 that was designed for him for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. To celebrate 15 years of the iconic boot, Nike created a Mercurial Vapor IX inspired by the 1998 design, with Phil McCartney, VP of Football Footwear for Nike, stating; "Ronaldo’s impact on the game 15 years ago was immense, and in the run up to 2014, we wanted to celebrate that boot and the man himself. We thought a modern construction of his 1998 boot would be a great commemoration of that moment." Ronaldo has appeared in a series of Nike commercials. He starred in the 1996 Nike commercial titled "Good vs Evil" in a gladiatorial game set in a Roman amphitheatre. Appearing alongside football players from around the world, including Paolo Maldini, Eric Cantona, Luís Figo, Patrick Kluivert and Jorge Campos, they defend "the beautiful game" against a team of demonic warriors, destroying evil by winning the match. In 1998, he featured in a Nike commercial set in an airport with a number of stars from the Brazil national team, including Romário and Roberto Carlos. In a Nike advertising campaign in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, he starred in a "Secret Tournament" commercial (branded "Scopion KO") directed by Terry Gilliam, appearing alongside football players such as Thierry Henry, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti, Ronaldinho, Luís Figo and Hidetoshi Nakata, with former player Cantona the tournament "referee".
    A goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme, Ronaldo played in the 11th Match Against Poverty on 4 March 2014 against a Zidane XI in Bern, Switzerland, with proceeds raised helping the recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
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    He served as an ambassador for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
    More Details Hide Details He was still a kid. It was in a game where he ended up scoring five goals.
  • 2013
    Age 36
    A keen poker player, in April 2013 Ronaldo became a member of PokerStars SportStar, and in December 2013 he played a charity poker tournament against tennis star Rafael Nadal.
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    In January 2013, Ronaldo was named one of the six Ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
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  • 2011
    Age 34
    On 13 December 2011 world football legends Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo played a charity match with their friends against former and current players of the German team Hamburg in the ninth edition of the Match Against Poverty series, which the pair established in 2003.
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    In February 2011 it was announced that Ronaldo would be given one last match for Brazil, a friendly against Romania in São Paulo on 7 June 2011, five years after his last match with the national team.
    More Details Hide Details Despite it being almost unheard of in international football for players to be given a farewell match for their national side, Brazilian Football Confederation officials stated that given the extraordinary career of Ronaldo, it was only fitting that his final game should take place in Brazil while representing his nation. Ronaldo played for 15 minutes in a match that ended with a Brazilian victory with a goal from Fred. Fred celebrated his goal with Ronaldo's famous 'finger wag' celebration along with his Brazilian teammates. Ronaldo was introduced after 30 minutes, partnering new star striker Neymar in attack, and had three shots on target which were saved by the Romanian goalkeeper, Ciprian Tătărușanu. After the first half ended, Ronaldo made a farewell speech to the crowd. Ronaldo retired from international football as the second highest goalscorer for Brazil, behind only Pelé, with 62 goals in 98 appearances.
    In February 2011, after Corinthians were eliminated from the 2011 Copa Libertadores by the Colombian team Deportes Tolima, Ronaldo announced his retirement from football.
    More Details Hide Details In an emotional press conference on 14 February, he cited pain and hypothyroidism as the reasons for his premature retirement. Ronaldo admitted his body had finally succumbed to the crippling litany of injuries that had blighted his career: "It's very hard to leave something that made me so happy. Mentally I wanted to continue but I have to acknowledge that I lost to my body. The head wants to go on but the body can't take any more. I think of an action but I can't do it the way I want to. It's time to go."
  • 2010
    Age 33
    In February 2010, Ronaldo signed a contract extension with Corinthians that would keep him with the club until the end of 2011, and said he would then retire.
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  • 2009
    Age 32
    He finished the Brazilian Serie A 2009 with 12 goals in 20 matches.
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    On 27 September 2009, he scored for Corinthians in the 1–1 draw against São Paulo FC.
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    Ronaldo scored his first goal for Corinthians on 8 March 2009 in a Campeonato Paulista match against Palmeiras.
    More Details Hide Details He helped Corinthians win the Campeonato Paulista with 10 goals in 14 games. Ronaldo helped Corinthians defeat Internacional with an aggregate score of 4–2 to help the club win its third Brazil Cup (the second of his career), thus earning a spot in the Copa Libertadores 2010. He returned on 20 September in a match against Goiás.
    Ronaldo played his first match for Corinthians on 4 March 2009, a Copa do Brasil match against Itumbiara at Estádio Juscelino Kubitschek, in which he came as a substitute for Jorge Henrique.
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  • 2008
    Age 31
    Maria Beatriz Antony gave birth to their first daughter, named Maria Sophia, in Rio de Janeiro, on 24 December 2008. In April 2009, the whole family moved to a new penthouse in São Paulo. On 6 April 2010, Maria Beatriz Antony gave birth to their second daughter.
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    In April 2008, Ronaldo was involved in a scandal involving three travesti prostitutes whom he met in a nightclub located in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
    More Details Hide Details Upon discovering that they were legally male, Ronaldo offered them $600 to leave. One of the three, deceased Andréia Albertini however, demanded $30,000 and exposed the case to the media. Ronaldo's engagement to Maria Beatriz Antony was cancelled immediately after the prostitution scandal but resumed a little later.
    On 13 February 2008, Ronaldo suffered a severe season-ending knee injury while jumping for a cross in Milan 1–1 draw with Livorno, and was stretchered off and taken to a hospital.
    More Details Hide Details The club confirmed after the match that Ronaldo had ruptured the kneecap ligament in his left knee. It marked the third such occurrence of this injury, which he suffered twice to his right knee in 1999 and 2000. He was released by Milan at the end of the season, as his contract expired and was not renewed. Ronaldo trained with Flamengo during his recovery from knee surgery, and the club's board of directors said that the doors were open for him to join. On 9 December, however, Ronaldo signed a one-year deal with Flamengo's league rival Corinthians. The announcement received high publicity in the Brazilian press about his choice of Corinthians over Flamengo, since Ronaldo publicly declared himself a Flamengo fan and had promised to defend the club.
  • 2007
    Age 30
    Ronaldo's only goals in the 2007–08 season, besides his goal against Lecce in pre-season, came in a 5–2 victory against Napoli at the San Siro, where he scored an emotional brace.
    More Details Hide Details It was also the first time Milan's much hyped attacking trio of Kaká, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldo, known as Ka-Pa-Ro, played together. Despite tremendous success over the past decade, Ronaldo has never won the UEFA Champions League in his club career. During the 2006–07 season, though Milan won the 2006–07 title, Ronaldo was cup-tied with Madrid and ineligible to take part. The closest that he has been was in 2003 when he helped Real Madrid to the semi-finals, in which they lost to Juventus.
    He made his debut as a substitute on 11 February 2007, during the 2–1 victory over Livorno.
    More Details Hide Details The next game at Siena, on 17 February, Ronaldo scored twice and assisted on a third goal in his first start for Milan, as they won 4–3. In his first season, Ronaldo scored seven goals in 14 appearances. After his move to Milan, Ronaldo joined the list of the few players to have played for both Inter Milan and A.C. Milan in the Derby della Madonnina, and is one of two players to have scored for both sides in the derby game (for Inter in the 1998–99 season and for Milan in the 2006–07 season), the other player being Zlatan Ibrahimović. Ronaldo is also one of the few players to have started for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, which also boasts a heated rivalry. Ronaldo, however, has never transferred directly between rival clubs. Ronaldo only played 300-plus minutes in his single season at Milan due to recurring injury problems and weight issues.
    On 18 January 2007, it was reported that Ronaldo agreed terms with A.C. Milan for a transfer of €8.05 million.
    More Details Hide Details Ronaldo was forced to pay for the remaining period on his contract which tied him to Real Madrid, only because the latter did not agree to release him, while Milan were not ready to pay such a sum. On 25 January, Ronaldo flew from Madrid to Milan to watch the team play in a cup tie against Roma. Statements on the club's website said that Ronaldo was in Milan for a medical, and that a meeting had been arranged for Monday with Real Madrid officials to discuss and finalize his transfer to the Milanese club. On 26 January, Ronaldo successfully completed his medical tests at the Milanello training complex under the supervision of club doctors, and the transfer completed on 30 January and got the squad number 99.
  • TWENTIES
  • 2006
    Age 29
    In his final two seasons at the club, Ronaldo missed a number of games with injuries and weight issues, and with the acquisition of Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2006, he grew further out of favour with the manager Fabio Capello.
    More Details Hide Details In four and a half seasons at Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored over a century of goals for the club, becoming the fifth foreigner at Madrid to achieve the feat after Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano, Hungarian Ferenc Puskás, Mexican Hugo Sánchez and Chilean Iván Zamorano. In April 2013, Ronaldo was named by Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history".
  • 2005
    Age 28
    In 2005, Ronaldo became engaged to Brazilian model and MTV VJ Daniela Cicarelli, who became pregnant but suffered a miscarriage; the relationship lasted only three months after their luxurious wedding at the Château de Chantilly.
    More Details Hide Details The ceremony reportedly cost £700,000 (€896,000).
  • 2003
    Age 26
    Ronaldo scored the fastest goal in the club's history when he netted after 15 seconds in a league match against Atlético Madrid at the Bernabéu on 3 December 2003.
    More Details Hide Details He finished the season as La Liga's top scorer with 25 goals and received the Pichichi Trophy for a second time, despite Madrid losing the league title to Valencia CF.
    In the 2003–04 season, Madrid was on track to win the treble, until Ronaldo was injured towards the end of the season; they subsequently lost the Copa del Rey final, were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, and suffered a league form breakdown.
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  • 2002
    Age 25
    The boy was born after a brief relationship between Ronaldo and Michele Umezu, a Brazilian waitress whom Ronaldo first met in Tokyo, in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details After the confirmation of his fourth child, Ronaldo stated on 6 December 2010 that he had had a vasectomy, to "close the factory", feeling that having four children was enough. Ronaldo was the co-owner of A1 Team Brazil, along with motorsport legend Emerson Fittipaldi. Ronaldo co-owns the sports marketing company 9INE, with his friend, mixed martial artist Anderson Silva, one of his clients.
    He also won an Intercontinental Cup in 2002 and Spanish Super Cup in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details In the second leg of Real Madrid's Champions League quarter-final, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford, knocking the English team out of the competition. Ronaldo was substituted on 80 minutes and was given a standing ovation from both sets of fans.
    He was sidelined through injury until October 2002 but the fans kept on chanting his name.
    More Details Hide Details Ronaldo scored twice in his debut for Real Madrid. He received a standing ovation at the Santiago Bernabéu. That same reception was observed on the night of the final game of the season against Athletic Bilbao, where Ronaldo scored again to seal his first season with 23 league goals and the La Liga title for 2003.
    Later in 2002, he won the FIFA World Player of the Year award for the third time, and transferred from Inter to Real Madrid.
    More Details Hide Details Ronaldo was given his most recognizable nickname,, by the Italian press while playing there. He was named the 20th top footballer of all time for Inter, according to Times Online, and only his injuries prevented a higher ranking. He played 99 games and scored 59 goals for Nerazzurri. Having signed for Real Madrid for €46 million, his jersey sales broke all records on the first day, such was the obsession and hype surrounding him. Ronaldo was part of the Galácticos era, which included Zinedine Zidane, Luís Figo, Roberto Carlos, Raúl and David Beckham.
    After two operations and months of rehabilitation, Ronaldo came back for the 2002 World Cup, helping Brazil win their fifth World Cup title.
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  • 2000
    Age 23
    Ronaldo's recurring injury problems forced him to miss the entire 2000–01 season and much of the two seasons either side of it.
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    During his first comeback on 12 April 2000, he played only seven minutes during the first leg of the Coppa Italia final against Lazio before injuring his knee for a second time.
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  • 1999
    Age 22
    However, on 21 November 1999, during a Serie A match against Lecce, Ronaldo felt his knee buckle and was forced to limp off the field.
    More Details Hide Details A medical examination confirmed that the striker had ruptured a tendon in his knee and would require surgery.
    Inter had high hopes going into the 1999–2000 season with their attack including Ronaldo and Italian stars Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri.
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    In April 1999, Ronaldo married female Brazilian footballer Milene Domingues, at the time pregnant with the couple's first son, Ronald, who was born in Milan, on 6 April 2000.
    More Details Hide Details The marriage lasted four years.
    Although they never married, they began a long-term relationship and lived together in Milan until the beginning of 1999.
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  • 1998
    Age 21
    Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian writes, "In 1998, no one was as ferociously talented as Ronaldo, whose supernatural mixture of power, pace and skill had made him the player every child in the playground wanted to be; at the age of 21, the hopes and dreams of a nation rested on his shoulders."
    More Details Hide Details He scored four goals and made three assists en route to the final. Hours before the final he suffered a convulsive fit. At first, Ronaldo was removed from the starting lineup 72 minutes before the match, and the team sheet (with Edmundo as his replacement) was submitted to the FIFA delegate. The starting line up without Ronaldo was released to a shocked world media, however shortly before kick off, after pleading that he felt fine and requested to play, Ronaldo was reinstated by Brazil coach Mário Zagallo. Ronaldo's performance in the final was below par and he was injured in a collision with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Brazil lost the final to hosts France 3–0. Ronaldo later reflected, "We lost the World Cup but I won another cup - my life." Adrian Williams, professor of clinical neurology at Birmingham University, said that Ronaldo should not have played, saying that he would have been feeling the after effects of the seizure and that "there is no way that he would have been able to perform to the best of his ability within 24 hours of his first fit – if it was his first fit." Despite his sub-par performance in the final due to illness, Ronaldo was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament for his performances leading up to the final, and finished the tournament as the joint-third highest scorer.
    After the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo finished second for FIFA Player of the Year, behind Zinedine Zidane, and was widely regarded as the best striker in the world.
    More Details Hide Details After two seasons with Inter, Milan legend Paolo Maldini viewed Ronaldo and Diego Maradona as the two best players he ever faced, stating, "Ronaldo during his first two years at Inter was a phenomenon."
    The following year, Ronaldo scored a trademark goal against Lazio in the 1998 UEFA Cup Final.
    More Details Hide Details Running through defence to go one on one with Lazio goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani, Ronaldo feinted to go right then left, without touching the ball, leaving Marchegiani on his backside, before going right and slotting the ball into the net. His Inter teammate Youri Djorkaeff stated; "Ronaldo was phenomenal. He proved that he was a cut above the rest that season."
  • 1997
    Age 20
    Ronaldo starred alongside Romário, dubbed the Ro-Ro attack, in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, helping Brazil win their first ever Confederations Cup title where he finished as the third highest scorer with 4 goals, scoring a hat-trick over Australia in the final.
    More Details Hide Details Ronaldo entered the 1998 FIFA World Cup billed as the world's greatest player by reporters in the sport.
    He was the second highest scorer of the tournament in 1997 and was elected the best player of the Copa América.
    More Details Hide Details He also took part in the friendly Tournoi de France in 1997, preceding the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring a goal as Brazil finished in second place.
    He won FIFA World Player of the Year for the second time in 1997, and collected the Ballon d'Or the same year.
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    Ronaldo's unhappiness had become evident and at the end of the season, by paying the buy out clause fee in his contract, Inter Milan signed him in the summer of 1997 for a then world record fee of $27 million.
    More Details Hide Details Ronaldo adapted to the Italian style of the game in his first season, finishing second on the league's scoring charts. Ronaldo started to develop into a complete forward. He began racking up assists, became first-choice penalty taker, taking and scoring freekicks, and captaining the team at the end of the season. During his time with Inter, he scored several goals against city rivals A.C. Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1996
    Age 19
    At the end of 1996, aged 20, Ronaldo became the youngest player to win FIFA World Player of the Year. Ronaldo's time at Barcelona lasted one season, as there were problems with the renegotiation of his contract. Barcelona thought the talking was over having agreed a new long term contract with the best player in the world until 2006, as Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez declared; "He's ours for life".
    More Details Hide Details However, when the parties reconvened to finalise the deal the following day, the agreement collapsed, with Núñez admitting: "It's all over, Ronaldo is going".
    Probably his most memorable goal was scored at SD Compostela on 11 October 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Having received the ball inside his own half, he evaded a cynical tackle of the first opponent with a drag back, before running away from another and ran towards goal where he went past two more defenders in the box with close ball control, and then slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The camera then cut to Barcelona manager Bobby Robson who had got up off the bench and clasped his head in disbelief at what he had seen. The footage of the goal was later used in a Nike advert with a voiceover asking: "Imagine you asked God to be the best player in the world, and he listened to you". The day after the goal, the headline in the Spanish newspaper AS read: 'Pele returns'. Such was the manner Ronaldo ran through opposing defences, Real Madrid great Jorge Valdano commented; "he's not a man, he's a herd".
    During the 1996–97 season, Ronaldo scored 47 goals in 49 games in all competitions, with his goal celebration invariably the same with his arms outstretched like the statue of Christ the Redeemer that watches over his native Rio de Janeiro.
    More Details Hide Details He led the Catalan side to UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph where he capped the season with the winning goal in the cup final, and to Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España wins. He also won La Liga top scorer award in 1997 with 34 goals in 37 games, and the European Golden Shoe. Until the 2008–09 season, Ronaldo remained the last player to score more than 30 goals in La Liga. Ronaldo was at his physical peak at Barcelona, and many of his 47 goals involved him rounding the goalkeeper before slotting the ball into the net.
    With PSV, Ronaldo won the Dutch Cup in 1996 and he was Eredivisie top scorer in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details During his two seasons he scored 54 goals in 58 games. During his spell at PSV, Ronaldo attracted the attention of both Inter Milan and FC Barcelona. It was Barcelona that was willing to pay the then world record fee of $19.5 million.
  • 1994
    Age 17
    Ronaldo made his international debut for Brazil in 1994, in a friendly match in Recife against Argentina.
    More Details Hide Details He went to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States as a 17-year-old, but did not play. He came to be known as Ronaldinho ("little Ronaldo" in Portuguese), because Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus, his older teammate on the tournament, was also called Ronaldo and also nicknamed Ronaldão ("big Ronaldo") to further distinguish them. Another Brazilian player, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, who is widely known as Ronaldinho, would be called Ronaldinho Gaúcho when he joined the Brazilian main national team in 1999. In the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ronaldo played with the name Ronaldinho on his shirt, since centre back Ronaldo Guiaro, two years his senior, was one of his teammates. Brazil went on to win the bronze medal. Ronaldo also represented Brazil in the 1995 Copa América (finishing in second place), and won both the 1997 and the 1999 editions of the tournament, finishing as top scorer in 1999.
    Ronaldo chose to join PSV after the 1994 World Cup, for which he was selected despite being just 17, but did not play.
    More Details Hide Details It was Romário who advised Ronaldo to start his European career at PSV; Romário being a former striker of the team from 1988 to 1993. Ronaldo scored 30 league goals in his first season in the Netherlands. His second season was marred by a knee injury which kept him out of most of the campaign, but he still averaged nearly a goal a game in the league, scoring 12 goals in 13 appearances.
  • 1993
    Age 16
    Ronaldo scored 44 goals in 47 games with Cruzeiro, leading them to their first Copa do Brasil in 1993, and the Minas Gerais State Championship in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Before joining Cruzeiro, he was turned down by his boyhood favourite team Flamengo, but Brazilian World Cup legend Jairzinho saw Ronaldo's potential and helped get him the move to Cruzeiro.
    Ronaldo came to national public attention on 7 November 1993, scoring five goals in the game against Bahia.
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    Aged 16, he made his professional debut on 25 May 1993 against Caldense in the Minas Gerais State Championship.
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    In 1993, Ronaldo began his football career playing for Cruzeiro.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1976
    Born
    Born on September 18, 1976.
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