Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima is one of the talented players from Brazil who has mastered the world stage. Defending several classy clubs and performing perfectly with the Brazilian national team, many of his actions on the field became a nightmare opponent’s defense.
He is known as a player who has a fast run, charming dribbling balls, and also a very accurate kick. Although weak in heading the ball, his whole game was amazing. Ronaldo can carry the ball alone from the middle and pass several opposing players. Even in a state of urgency, he can use the speed and expertise in bringing the ball to escape. Even in a little space, a goal can be created.
Ronaldo began his professional career with Cruzeiro. After that, he flew to Europe to begin his glorious adventure by joining the Eredivisie club, PSV Eindhoven. In his first season, Ronaldo came out as the Dutch league’s top scorer with 30 goals. Despite a knee injury, Ronaldo continued to contribute 12 goals in 13 appearances for the Dutch giants. He also won the Dutch Cup trophy with PSV in 1996.
Considered to have a special talent, FC Barcelona then asked for his hand. Sir Bobby Robson, who was the manager of FC Barcelona at that time, projected Alan Shearer as the main target, but unfortunately, Blackburn Rovers did not allow Shearer to leave. Then the target was switched to Ronaldo to wear the uniform no. 9. At that time, PSV Eindhoven agreed to release Ronaldo with a transfer value of 12 million pounds or 211 billion rupiahs.
Il Fenomeno’s performance peaked at Barca when he spectacularly scored 47 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions.
Together with the Blaugrana, Ronaldo won the Winner Cup trophy, the Spanish Cup, and the Spanish Super Cup. Moreover, Ronaldo also became the top scorer in the league with 34 goals in 37 appearances. However, management who never extended his contract made Ronaldo furious.
Finally, Ronaldo moved to the Serie A club, Inter Milan.
When he was brought in, Ronaldo was the most expensive player. However, his romance with La Beneamata did not end sweetly. Instead, he received the most bitter experience throughout his career.
It can be said that the fate of Inter is not as lucky as Barca. One of Ronaldo’s worst days occurred on November 21, 1999, while playing against Lecce. He has a knee injury and must get operated.
The injury caused him to have surgery and undergo a rehabilitation period of five months, or a total of about 140 days. Ronaldo returned to play on April 12, 2000, in the Coppa Italia final against Lazio. However, he only played for 7 minutes because of his knee injury recurred.
As a result of these two injuries, Ronaldo must be absent until the 2001/02 season, or for 521 days.
His situation when he suffered a knee injury contrasted with his action in the inaugural season when he successfully scored 25 goals and brought Inter to runner-up under Juventus. Not only that, but the Eredivisie top scorer in the 1994/95 period also succeeded in helping Luigi Simoni’s troops won the UEFA Cup and donated six goals in the event.
After recovering from injury, Ronaldo had a chance to get up with a score of four goals that brought Inter just one step away from embracing the scudetto after waiting for more than a decade. Unfortunately, luck did not follow the story of Ronaldo with Nerazzurri.
In the 2001/02 season-ending match, Inter were beaten 2-4 by Lazio and had to bury deep in their desire to become champions. The match itself eventually became Ronaldo’s farewell match with Inter. In the following season, Ronaldo chose to move to Real Madrid.
Overall, Ronaldo played 99 times and successfully scored 59 goals for Inter, and in 2002 Ronaldo still managed to score seven goals in 14 matches. At that time, he changed his style of play to rely more on technique and instinctive scoring rather than speed.
Ronaldo’s style of play made him win the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, where he scored 8 goals and became the best player. He also won a personal title as the world’s best player of the year.
In Madrid, his greatness began to decrease. He was even often criticized by the Santiago Bernabeu public. Although he still scored goals, Ronaldo was seen as increasingly undisciplined and overweight. His injuries also often reoccurred, especially in his leg muscles. Until finally he moved to Milan in the 2006/07 season. Yet, in Milan, his injury still came out. Those were why he decided to return to Brazil.
Apart from all of those, no one knows what Ronaldo’s career would be like without the injury he got on November 21, 1999. For Ronaldo, the knee injury is the beginning of his melancholy story. An injury that started all of Ronaldo’s injuries, from knee ligaments that were torn back in 2000, shin fractures (tibia) in 2007, kneecaps (patella) broke in 2008, to broken hands in 2009.
When reviewing the story of Ronaldo’s injury, his former physiotherapist, Nilton Petrone, feels very traumatized. Nilton even dared to mention that the injury almost killed Ronaldo. He explained that Ronaldo is very vulnerable to injury. He claimed that it was necessary to monitor the movements of this Brazilian Legend.
In total, he had to be absent for 1082 days or about three years, with 123 matches he spent with Inter, AC Milan and Corinthians.