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Legends of Football: Ronaldo Luís Nazário De Lima, "Il Fenomeno"

Legends of Football: Ronaldo Luís Nazário De Lima, "Il Fenomeno"

Posted by Nick Yang on July 25, 2013

There aren't many ways you can describe a two-time World Cup winner, three-time FIFA World Player of the Year and all-time leading World Cup finals goalscorer. But for Ronaldo Luís Nazário De Lima—commonly known as Ronaldo—"Il Fenomeno" was the closest thing world football could come up with. And truth be told, he was phenomenal—forever a legend of the game.

Ronaldo was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1976. Like so many other legends of the game, Ronaldo was rarely seen without a ball at his feet from a young age. In a documentary about his life aired on Sky Sports, he was described as a "naughty" young boy by neighbours. However, it was clear to them that he had football running through his veins.

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Ronaldo was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1976. Like so many other legends of the game, Ronaldo was rarely seen without a ball at his feet from a young age. In a documentary about his life aired on Sky Sports, he was described as a "naughty" young boy by neighbours. However, it was clear to them that he had football running through his veins.

Incredibly enough, Ronaldo was unable to trial for Rio's top clubs initially because they refused to pay for his bus fare to the trial itself. As such, he was picked up by local sideSao Cristovao. Coach of Ronaldo's side at the time Roberto Gaglianone commented on Ronaldo's incredible pace and decision making on the ball. He like many around him knew that Ronaldo's emphatic scoring rate at the club would not go unnoticed for long and sure enough, two years after he signed at Cristovao, Cruzeiro came calling.

 

A legend was about to be born.

While his move to Cruzeiro was short-lived, Ronaldo netted 57 times in 59 matches for the club over the course of two years. At just 17 years of age Ronaldo had already won his first piece of silverware with the Brazilian side—the Copa do Brazil.

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