[Ed. Note: The Fan's Attic wrote this, but he's too busy litigatin' to post it. Hence, my work. Enjoy!]
Say what you want about Ronaldo: that he’s fat, he’s lazy, he’s not the player he used to be. It’s all probably true to some extent, although there may be extenuating factors that have contributed to these facts. But, the one thing you have to say about him is that he was an extraordinary player.
I suspect we will never see him play again [or if he does play, will surely not get close to his peak level] after suffering another catastrophic injury yesterday, not long after his return from a previous injury.
Last night against Livorno, Ronaldo ruptured a tendon in his left knee. In 1999, Ronaldo had the same injury on the other knee. He tried come back six months later but couldn’t, taking another 20 months of rehab and two surgeries before making it back onto the pitch. In his return, he did manage to come back close to top form, helping Brazil win the 2002 World Cup.The man has a full resume. He won the World Player of the Year three times. He was a World Cup champion twice and a runner-up in 1998. He is the leading World Cup scorer with 15 goals in 19 games. He won the 1998 Golden Ball, 2002 Silver Ball, and the 2002 Golden Boot. He has won league titles and the UEFA Cup in 1998 and if he hadn’t been cup-tied, he would have won the Champions League with AC Milan last season. He has won nearly everything there really is to win in soccer.
In all, he was a winner through and through. He suffered many injuries but always seemed to come back and play to a high level for which he must be praised. His early injuries probably have a lot to do with his recent injuries, but the man was one of the best players of his era.
He was also a goal-scorers’ goal-scorer. He could beat you with pace or footwork. Watching him play was a joy and I, for one, am sad that he will likely go out like this. Let’s remember him for his greatness and some awful hairstyles, and pour one out for the fallen homey tonight.
[Ed. Note again: The doctors think he’ll make a full recovery, but that’s what they’re trained to say when a star falls down. Look at Barbaro’s doctors. Anyways, below, find some YouTube goodness, including slow-mo footage of “The Injury” and some highlights from his career. Check out this Guardian blog post for more YouTube videos, too.]
Ronaldo at Barcelona [arguably the height of his playing days]
His hat-trick against Man Utd in the Champions League, 2002/03