Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is a retired Brazilian footballer considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time being one of only three men to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.
In 1993 Ronaldo played his first professional football match for Cruzeiro after being turned down from his childhood dream of playing for the Flamengo Club. He scored 12 goals and 14 appearances leading the team to their first Copa do Brasil Championship. In 1994 he joined the PSV when he was just 17 years old in Europe. HE scored 30 goals in his first season in the Netherlands. His second season he suffered from a bad knee injury allowing him to only average 12 goals in 13 appearances. He became the top scorer with a record of 54 goals in 58 games between the two seasons before finished out his 1996 winning the Dutch Cup.
In 1997 he switched to the FC Barcelona team for record breaking salary of $19.5 million dollars for only one season due to poor contract negotiations. During his season with the team he scored 47 goals in 49 games winning the final goal leading the team to the UEFA Winners’ Cup. He won the top scorer award in 1997 for having 34 goals in 37 games. In 2002 he signed to Real Madrid for 46 Million Euros even though he was still injured from a knee problem he acquired before the World Cup.
Later in 2007 he signed to Inter Milan for $27 million dollars. He shortly became the first choice penalty kicker and was captain of the team by seasons end. During his team with the team he won FIFA World Player of the Year, the 1998 UEFA Cup Final, 1998 FIFA World Cup and finished second for FIFA Player of the Year. He later became known as the “Best Striker in the World”.
In February 2011 Ronaldo announced his retirement form football after the Corinthians were removed from the 2011 Copa Libertadores. He cited his main reason for retiring as his body could no longer take the injuries.
FIFA World Cup (2): 1994, 2002
FIFA World Cup (1): Runners-up (2nd Place) 1998
Copa América (2): 1997, 1999
Copa América (1): Runners-up (2nd Place) 1995,
FIFA Confederations Cup (1): 1997
Summer Olympic Games (1): Bronze Medal (3rd Place) 1996