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Ronaldo bows out of football

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
Sao Paulo, Jun 8: Brazil's soccer superstar Ronaldo played his last international match on Jun 7 in a friendly against Romania at Sao Paulo. The striker couldn't score any goal in his 15 minute cameo that started from the 30th minute until the halftime, but still managed to wow the crowd during his short stay.

Brazil won the match 1-0 and now head off to the Copa America Cup.

Ronaldo, who in Feb 2011 announced his retirement after an 18-year career during which he was conferred with the FIFA Player of the Year award for thrice. He has also represented Brazil in four World Cups, winning two of them.

He is also the highest goal-scorer in the history of football World Cups and is only behind Pele in Brazil's maximum goal-scorers.

Addressing the crowd, for whom he was the most loved footballer during his career, an emotional Ronaldo said, "Thank you for all that you have done for me throughout my career. Thank you for having accepted me the way I am, for having cried when I cried and for having smiled when I smiled."

During the 15 minutes that he spent on the field, Ronaldo almost scored thrice, first in the 35th minute where he missed to strike from a close range. In the 40th minute, he missed another chance by a whisker when his scoop shot from the penalty spot went over the crossbar.

His last aim at goal came soon after when he hit a low shot in the 43rd minute but that too was saved.

Ronaldo rued the missed chances in the post-match conference and said, "I had three chances, but in an ironic twist of fate, I couldn't score in my final match. It would have been a small retribution for all that you have done for me."

Ronaldo's finest hour in football came when he cameback from a serious knee-injury and scored two goals to help Brazil beat Germany to lift the FIFA World Cup for the fifth time.

OneIndia News

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Story first published: Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 11:03 [IST]
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