Football legend calls it quits

Brazilian legend Ronaldo has
confirmed his retirement from football.

The 34-year-old had a glittering
career, helping Brazil win two World Cups and being named Fifa World Player of
the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2002.

He had been expected to quit at the
end of the season but the early elimination of his club, Corinthians, from the
Copa Libertadores brought forward the date.

“I wanted to continue, but I
can’t. I think of an action, but I can’t do it the way I want to. It’s
time,” he said.

Ronaldo’s career took him to some
of Europe’s top clubs, including Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, as
well as Italian neighbours AC Milan and Inter Milan.

But it was on the world stage where
he made the biggest impact, scoring a record total of 15 goals at three World
Cups.

He also went to the 1994 tournament
in the United States as a member of the Brazilian squad that went on to win the
trophy, but the 17-year-old did not get on the pitch.

However, four years later he scored
four goals to help Brazil reach the final against hosts France.

Mystery surrounded the match as
Ronaldo’s name was left off the team sheet when it was issued 72 minutes before
kick-off, only for an amended version to appear in time for the start of the game
amid rumours of panic attacks and a dispute within the Brazilian camp.

At the 2002 World Cup Ronaldo was
at his imperious best, scoring in every game in Japan and South Korea, bar the
2-1 quarter-final victory over England.

He grabbed both of Brazil’s goals
in the 2-0 win over Germany in the final to take his tally for the tournament
to eight.

In 2006 he scored twice in a 4-1
victory over Japan to draw level with Germany’s Gerd Muller as the top scorer
in World Cup finals history on 14, before breaking that record with a goal
against Ghana.

He ended his international career
having scored 62 goals in 97 appearances.