Sunday, April 11, 2010

Only One Ronaldo at SA2010

The Original Ronaldo -- perhaps he should be known as Ronaldo the First -- is acknowledging the inevitable.

That he will not be on Brazil's World Cup team because he is not playing well enough. Or, actually, not playing much at all, for Brazil club team Corinthians.

We will miss the gap-toothed forward, the greatest player in the world there for about six years straddling the millennium.

Remember, Ronaldo is the all-time leading World Cup goalscorer, with 15, scoring in 1998, 2002 and 2006. Gerd Muller of Germany is second, with 14.

It would be nice to have Ronaldo around, for old-time's sake. But if Brazil doesn't have a place on its team for Ronaldinho (and it apparently does not), who has been playing far better ... it certainly doesn't have a spot for our pudgy hero, 33 with a waist line going on 43.

(Oh, and just for a fun, here is a photo from the 2002 World Cup, when Ronaldo wore perhaps the worst haircut in Fifa history.)

Brazil coach Dunga doesn't strike anyone as the sentimental sort, and in his laser-focus drive to bring the Jules Rimet trophy back to Brazil, he is not going to carry out-of-form and out-of-shape forwards.

Maybe it will save this Ronaldo from some embarrassment. In South Africa, whenever people talk about "Ronaldo" ... they almost certainly would be talking about Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo the First doesn't need that.
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