Saturday, August 21, 2010

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Brazil legend Ronaldo piles on the pounds and admits retirement is close

He's not even the most famous Ronaldo any more, but the famous Brazil No 9 and highest World Cup goalscorer of all time is still twice the player of his Real Madrid namesake.

Out of action for 100 days with a groin injury, the 33-year-old has once again ballooned in weight and raised questions about how much longer he has left in the game that was shaped by his genius over the last two decades.

Ronaldo has hit the treadmill and is aiming to be back in action for Corinthians at the end of the month, but admits that he can't escape the terrifying thought of retirement.
'I am pain free, but I am saddened,' he said. 'I've lived my whole life on the football pitch and the end of my career is coming close.
'I plan on making a big sacrifice in order to finish the year strong. Depending on how the end of the season turns out, I will make a decision to retire or continue.'

Ronaldo has a contract till the end of next year with the Sao Paulo club where he plays alongside Roberto Carlos, but he hasn't ruled out quitting at a moments notice and insists he will not pre-announce his retirement.

'I need to lose weight, find my rhythm and then hope that I feel fine. But one day I will play a game and then simply say that was it.'
Ronaldo has been three times named FIFA's World Player of the Year during a glittering career that saw him play for Barcelona, Real Madrid and both Milan clubs before returning to Brazil.
Weight has been an issue in the latter stages of his career, with long lay-offs resulting in a burgeoning waistline.
Corinthians president Andres Sanches is philosophical about his star man's physical condition and said: 'If he was 100 per cent fit, he would not be in Brazil.
'He won't leave. He'll be here for another 10-12 years. He will stay, if not playing, then being an ambassador, executive director or something. Ronaldo and Corinthians was a perfect marriage, so it won't be discarded.'

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