Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ronaldo - 'The Phenomenon'

During my school days i used to be very involved in sports, especially hockey. Playing the game well, also helped me get transferred to a better school. Unfortunately, this interest did not carry on after my schooling days. To my surprise i picked up a new sport, Soccer.

The passion for the game this time around was a bit different, watching the game being played on television instead of physically playing on the field was better, for me that is. (if you have read my Health Mart page earlier, you would know why) It all began somewhere around the year 1996, when Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima also known as 'The Phenomenon' to the world was voted for the first time as the youngest FIFA World Player. He took my attention with his mastery and skillful play and made me love the game. Born in Bento Ribeiro, Rio De Janeiro, in Brazil, this guy was to my opinion, the perfect football player (don't count his teeth though...)

Again, the following year and also in 2002, Ronaldo was voted World Player, making it a total of three times. This achievement is also shared by his former Real Madrid team member Zinedine Zidane, for getting the prestigious award three times. He was first noted when he was around 14 years old and was quickly put into their national youth squad. Three years later and at the age of 17, Ronaldo thought of making an international debut at the 1994 World Cup games in the US, but sadly he was never featured in any of their games. The world stage had to wait another four years before he mesmerised them, with his 'Samba' skill. I think his most prolific period was when he played for Barcelona (1996-1997) after which he was bought over by Inter Milan the following year. Watching Ronaldo & the whole Brazil team play in the 1998 World Cup was very exciting. I remember watching every single game that Brazil played at that World Cup. From here, you are able to judge that I am a die hard fan of Brazil, when it comes to soccer. Open my cupboard and you will find a whole range of Team Brazil Merchandise. What made them lose the finals that year, haunts my mind till date. How such a 'complete team' could fail?

In 2002 , he was bought over by the Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Sales of his Jersey broke all records world over on the day of his signing. I'm glad that I'm a proud of one myself. Since his signing in 18 of January 2007 into AC Milan, have you noticed?, he has changed his almost-trademark 'chrome dome' (fully shaven head) to a short nappy hair do and minus his beard. Courtesy of the request of the clubs President, Berlusconi. I feel like his become a new man here after swapping sides from the 'weight-watching' fans of Spain. AC Milan currently looking ahead to a first-leg Champions League semifinal on Tuesday at Premiership leaders, Manchester United. Ronaldo helped an understrength AC Milan on Saturday beat their visiting side Cagliari 3-1. With all that said, Ronaldo, personally, has improved since his arrival at AC Milan and on his way to re-reach his old peak fitness and will prove his critics that they were so very wrong.

Call him the Boy Wonder, The Miracle Man, The Phenomenon, The Keepers Nightmare, The number 9 or whatever, to me, there is only one, Ronaldo !

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