Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughLegend hangs up his boots - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Legend hangs up his boots - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Legend hangs up his boots

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima gave football fans around the world moments to remember. From individual displays of genius as a Galactico in Madrid to inspiring kids on the street to play samba soccer instead of headers and volleys. Every football fan knows his name and many still refer to him as Thee Ronaldo.

Ronaldo decided to hang up his boots on the 14th February after fighting a battle with an over active thyroid as well as his long going knee injury. Almost un heard of in European football now, Ronaldo has staked a claim as the greatest striker of the decade having scored a staggering 1.76 goals in every two games for both club and country. Although that is not to say that he faces no competition.

This decade has produced some of the greatest striking talents. From Raul to Henry football fans have truly been treated to some unique and individual displays of brilliance in the striker department. So what makes Ronaldo stand out from the elite crowd. The simple answer is he had it all. Ronaldo is one of only two men to be Fifa World Player of The Year three times. He shares this honour with Zinedine Zidane, he also won his first of two Ballon d’Or’s at the tender age of 21. He is named in countless lists of the world’s greatest players as well as being nominated to the Barcelona all time starting eleven despite only playing there for one season. Individually Ronaldo has every honour a professional footballer could dream of but Football is a team game. How has his individual excellence contributed to his clubs and country?

From the beginning of his career, every club Ronaldo has played for has tasted success while he has been in the squad. The list of domestic winner’s medals he has in the cabnet is extensive. Serie A, La Liga, Copa do Brasil are but to name a few. However he has never won the most prized competition at club level The Uefa Champions League. He was part of the AC Milan squad that won in 2003 but was cup tied having played in the earlier stages with Madrid. Although he lacks club football’s most illustrious medal he does hold the most sought after medal in the football world.

In 2002 Ronaldo led Brazil to their fifth World Cup win and scored against every opponent except England in the quarter finals. Also in the three World Cup’s he has appeared in he has scored an all time record of 15 goals. Just another individual honour in a long line of achievements during this sterling career.

When it comes to silverware there aren’t many players who can match up to Ronaldo’s achievements. However it’s not trophies that fans remember. Moments of brilliance on the pitch are what live long in the minds of the fans. Zidane has his volley in the Champions League Final, Beckham has his freekick for England against Greece. When it comes to Ronaldo he again has many. Whether it be his hat trick of penalties against arch rivals Argentina or scoring a phenomenal winner for Barcelona in the Uefa Cup Winner’s Cup, every game he played in was a joy to watch. However a performance that might have stood above all was while playing in the white of Real Madrid.

In 2003 Real Madrid played the second leg of their quarter final tie against Manchester United in the Champions League. Ronaldo scored a first half hat trick and on the night was virtually unplayable. Every time he touched the ball an attack would spark off it. He left the pitch to a standing ovation from both sets of fans.

Ronaldo truly was a great of the game. He was a natural born goal scorer and always knew where the net was which made his finishing look effortless. His first touch was phenomenal able to leave defenders flat footed with one touch of the ball. He had so much flair and skill he could beat a man go back and beat him again before scoring. All in all Ronaldo will be remembered by fans for a long time after he leaves the sport and shouldn’t perhaps go down as the player of the decade but the player of the century.

Christopher Butler

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