Today on Valentine’s Day, many football (soccer) fans may have had their hearts broken by the departure of striker Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima or simply ‘Ronaldo’, one of the most recognizable footballers in the entire world. Ronaldo, a football legend up next to Pelé, appeared in public today and announced that he would be retiring from professional football/soccer due to certain health conditions.
A very upset Ronaldo explained at the press conference that he must end his 18-year career at the age of 34 due to pains and hypothyroidism which he secretly kept hidden about since he himself found out about it four years ago. ”Mentally, I wanted to continue, but I have to acknowledge that I lost (the fight) to my body”, stated Ronaldo. Starting his meteor-like career at the age of 16 in Brazil, 1993, Ronaldo became known as El Fenomeno (The Phenomenon) due to his outstanding skills as a footballer. Ronaldo continues, “My body aches. The head wants to continue, but the body can’t take much more”, acknowledging that despite his love for football, his body will never be able to keep up.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism often include joint pain, fatigue, weight gain and even depression.
Later Ronaldo would win the FIFA Player of the Year award three times, put into the list of The 100 of FIFA, break the record of 14 goals in the World Cup in 2006 and play a significant role in the Brazilian team that won the 1994 and 2002 World Cups. Ronaldo would also become one of the top stars in Real Madrid from 2003 to 2007. Ronaldo is also known for his many injuries that has left him on the sidelines multiple times.
However in recent years the legend started to decline in the eyes of several fans during the time he has spent with the Corinthians. In fact there was one incident where Corinthian fans actually vandalized the vehicles of the football team that jeered at Ronaldo’s physical state.
Reportedly, Ronaldo praised the fans for their zeal and football fervor but also condemned their actions as violent.
Now that Ronaldo will be retiring from the world of football, he will be sorely missed by many but remembered as one of the greatest Brazilian strikers and international football players ever produced in the history of sports.
(Cover Photo: CNN)