End of the road for Ronaldo?

Ronaldo_ap

Is this the end?

Ronaldo, one of the best forwards in the history of soccer, could be looking at the end of his playing career at the age of 31. The Brazilian star ruptured a ligament in his left knee on Wednesday, putting his future in serious doubt.

He has had his injury issues and fitness issues but I still consider Ronaldo one of the best players I have ever had the good fortune to watch play. Here are some highlights of Ronaldo at his best to remind us of just how special a player he was.

Will he ever regain his magic, or will he retire? Only time will tell.

What is your best memory of Ronaldo? Share your thoughts below.

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25 Responses to End of the road for Ronaldo?

  1. USvsIreland says:

    All he needs to do is rest, and then get Apollo Creed to train him.

    Cue “Eye of the Tiger”

  2. Moneyball says:

    (Van Halen’s “Right Now” playing in background)
    Introducing: Ronaldo….of your 2009 New York Red Bulls!

  3. Tim Archer says:

    Ronaldo was always a class player. Tons of ball skills, terrific vision and eye towards creativity. I can’t tell you my favorite Ronaldo moment, because there are several.

    However, watching that video, with all of his flicks and step-overs, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another Ronaldo, tons of flair with few goals. The times when he scored his goals he used pure movement to get into position and all the rest of the jazz was for show.

    Good luck to him, and even if his professional days are numbered, he will always be one of the best of recent memory, and time will tell if he will be one of the best ever.

  4. Beech says:

    I’ll take a pudgy 32 year old bum knee Ronaldo at forward any day. 35 maybe not as much but if he restarted back in MLS after his recovery I’m sure teams would line up at the chance.

  5. Athan says:

    Wow, he really was one of the best ever! That clip was just amazing and it offered a glimpse of just how great on the ball Ronaldo was. His World Cup performance in 2002 was also one of legends! Everyone thought he had nothing left, and he scored 8 goals!

  6. Jason says:

    what a shame to see this happen to such a great, great player.

    it’s easy for people to forget just how GREAT ronaldo was and is because of injuries and weight issues.

    but there was a time, and this was not too long ago, when ronaldo was the best forward in the world.

    it saddens me to think that his final moment on the field could be him being carried away in tears.

    as for my favorite memory…it had to be the hat trick at old trafford. to see the fans at the theater of dreams giving him a standing ovation as he was being subbed out brought me chills and goosebumps.

    good luck, ronnie!

  7. Brooklyn Zoo says:

    It’s too bad that Brazilian culture doesn’t emphasize men being physically fit as they get older, it’s actaully considered more masculine to be a little chubby at that age.

    but anyway, ronaldo was one of the players responsible for getting a young american boy interested in international soccer after his incredible performance at the 2002 WC. It’s just horrible when a storied career ends with injury…. i guess it’s better than a congressional hearing!!!!

  8. J says:

    While its unfortunate that this happened, I really hope he does not come to MLS in 2009 to RBNY. We don’t need to be seen as a retirement league and I’d rather us go after Henry.

  9. mastaliu says:

    yes, it’s easy to forget how special ronnie was with all the new names flying around – but will they ever achieve what he has? no way.
    Greatest memory: ronaldo with Barcelona 96-97, 34 goals in 37 games and totally unstoppable.

  10. Man.

    I am Argentine. I have always hated Ronaldo. But when a persons livelyhood is at risk the way his is now, your heart goes out to the guy.

    I agree with the above. He needs Apollo creed, maybe even Rockys son from the last movie, to get him back into shape, and back on the field.

    Why do I see Ronaldo jogging the greens of an MLS field next year?

  11. Squard says:

    Everyone is jumping on the chance to use their fat jokes and write his tombstone.
    We don’t even know whats wrong with his leg, so stop eulogizing already!

  12. DL says:

    Thanks for the link to that highlight reel, Ives. It’s easy to forget how dominating the guy was/is.
    But seriously, take a look at that Jheri curl that Ronaldo’s sporting. WOW

  13. kpugs says:

    A couple years ago I’d never imagine saying this, but I pray he never comes to the Red Bulls regardless of whether he plays again. At this point he’s a money pit.

    Squard aka Jimbo…when was the last time he played 25 games in a season? 2004 I think? His goals per game ratio is still sick but he can’t get himself on the field.

    (This is Kev by the way.)

  14. Dominghosa says:

    Not even C. Ronaldo looks as graceful on the ball as the original Ronaldo.
    (I pine for the days of a fit Ronaldinho.)

  15. Brandon says:

    He will forever be my favorite player to ever step on the pitch. I hope he can recover from this.

  16. Mike O says:

    It may be mostly conditioning but some of Ronaldo’s weight issues probably have something to do with his body type too. Short, stocky, powerfully built people with a low center of gravity like him and Maradona tend to put on weight more easily. That’s especially true if you don’t adjust your diet to your slowing metabolism after your early 20′s when we all gain weight. Of course that can ultimately be overcome with hard work and conditioning but it still is harder for some folks.

    It makes me thankful now in my early 30′s that growing up I was a 6’3″ scrawny beanpole defender trying to chase and out-muscle the squat, quick, built-like-a-brickhouse guys. Catching up with some of those guys now in my adult leagues I can get the last laugh. LOL ;)

  17. Jason says:

    ronaldo’s 6ft tall. he’s not short.

  18. Nathanhj says:

    Let’s see, 9 months recovery time, plus time to regain fitness (luckily he’s always set the bar low there) + end of Reyna’s guaranteed contract = RONALDO TO NYRB for the 2009 Season!

    You heard it here first!

  19. Nordy says:

    02 World Cup, Brazil vs. Costa Rica. Here’s what I wrote in an email to my friends after the game:

    third row, right to the goal side of the Costa Rican bench. Unbelievable! For those that didn’t see it, this was the game that you should have watched. Chance after chane after chance. It ended 5-2 to Brazil, including 2 goals by Ronaldo, and a bicycle kick from Juninho that might be the goal of the tournament so far. Costa Rica though easily could have tied it up or won, if they had even half of the finishing ability of Brazil. Most of the game resembled that commercial from 98, where they were dribbling through the airport. And Ronaldo is something special. Watching him run with the ball is truly a beatiful sight…it really is like watching a thoroghbred at the horse races. Just raw power, grace and speed. Unbelievable. I didn’t really see that many hot Brazilian chicks though…

  20. eric says:

    Glad to see more well wishes than fat jokes for Ronaldo. The guys been around so long it’s hard to believe he’s only 31. Even when he’s struggled thru injuries, his strike rate has been unbelievable.

    I still won’t count him out as capable of coming back, his run in the ’02 WC was unbelievable after everyone wrote him off. Get well, and come to MLS.

  21. Leonardo Rabelo de Moraes says:

    I wish Ronaldo all the best, but, based on the comments I read here, Ives’ readership must be very young in average. Ronaldo has/had talent and all, but he is a product of the marketing era of soccer. Anyone who has been involved with soccer for 20 years of more can remember several Brazilian players from the past who unfortunately don’t get the recognition they deserve because they lived “at the wrong time”. I’m not going to mention names; just remember the 1982 Brazilian national team and you know what I am talking about

  22. TenMattC says:

    Its up to him. Hopefully he can come back to a good team situation. He was/is undoubtedly one the best strikers or maybe even players during his time. He was productive, not just stylish. Fitness issues, for whatever reason, seemed to be the only thing holding him back.

  23. Nick says:

    I think Ronaldo’s done. But I agree with you Ives, and I would say that Ronaldo was right there with Pele as the best forward ever. He revolutionized the game and was a prototype of what was to come in the future, well ahead of his time. I do find it somewhat surprising, though, that he was never seriously linked with steroids. As great as he was naturally, I would be surprised if he wasn’t taking performance enhancing drugs, given his physical dominance and all of his injuries and end of career weight problems.

  24. Henry says:

    The man was a beast before his first injury. He never regained that speed after the first knee injury. the man was incredible to @barca

  25. HE from NJ says:

    Arguably the best forward in our generation! When I played in my younger days Ronaldo was one of the few players I tried 2 imitate. His control of the ball running full speed was best i’d ever seen. His greatest play had to b when he ran thru that defense playing for Barca, and they were pulling and kicking him and he would not go down. Nike used that clip for a commercial. Thank God I got to see him play at least once. His game was gracefully strong.
    As a Milan fan, however, I never liked the signing of ronaldo because he is too injury prone late in his career. I think they can do better, and now I’m a bit worried since Pato went down last week. Gilardino & Inzaghi r not the solution!