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Ronaldo, closer to the End

February 13, 2011

Ronaldo: should I stay or should I go?!

Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima has found himself in a pickle.

The legendary striker is out of shape and unmotivated. His long list of  injuries and personal scandals have crippled his spirit. He is in constant pain, both physically and mentally. That his team suffered a shockingly early elimination at the Copa Libertadores last month didn’t help his cause one bit. Corinthians supporters were angry and targeted the striker’s lack of commitment (and his weight) as the main cause for the disaster…

Hasn’t he had enough?!

Apparently, yes. The rumours in Brazil are that he will announce his full retirement from football as early as Monday, February 14th.

And this is where we enter Ronaldo’s “picklehood”.

When Ronaldo signed with Corinthians in 2009 (already relatively out of shape and battling old injuries), club president Andrés Sanchez said something like “we didn’t hire Ronaldo to play football”. What he meant was that the striker’s name, history and image were, at that point, more important to Corinthians than his skills within the pitch. Indeed, Ronaldo brings millions of dollars to Corinthians every year in sponsorship and commercial deals. But now that Ronaldo finally wants out, he may find himself fighting another battle, and a much more intricate one: against the sponsors.

Ronaldo’s current sponsorship deals go until December, when the 2011 Brazilian football season comes to a closure. If he breaks contract now, and leaves the club, Corinthians could fall into deep crisis. They have already lost beloved manager Mano Menezes (snatched by the Brazil national team); wingback Roberto Carlos is on his way to Russia; the Libertadores campaign was a disaster; supporters continue to protest in anger; and Ronaldo continues to be in a funky mood…there couldn’t be a worst time for a financial crisis.

Indeed, both Sanchez and Ronaldo are aware of the sensitive situation. And no matter how unsatisfied he is at Corinthians right now, Ronaldo doesn’t wish to sink the club either; and both men do share respect for one another. But business is business. The latest reports are that the team and player are trying to reach a compromise: Ronaldo would retire from the pitch, but not from Corinthians altogether. The striker could potentially become one of the “star” managers of the club, acting as an ambassador, appearing in commercials and reaching out for more sponsorship deals with corporations and such.

The miserable fact is that Ronaldo is already a de facto retired player. A dead footballer walking and panting on the pitch. A mere shadow of the genius he once was. Unhappy and with his hands tied, he’ll now be forced to put on a suit and go beg for money.

Imagine what that belly will look like under a tie…

A 3-time World Player of the Year, reduced to this. A pawn. And a whore.


One Comment leave one →
  1. david permalink
    February 25, 2011 1:02 pm

    i am sorry for you.i amnt from brazil but i know garrincha(very better than you and…)he is the best footballer in history of are (better) update information from football.this is (realy)comic!ronaldo or romario!!!!!!pele( after garrincha) is second best player in history of brazil.(your sure)

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