Ronaldo the Phenomenon

Tuesday, April 01, 2014
No. This is not about the Portuguese 'CR7' Cristiano Ronaldo who is playing for Real Madrid. This is about the Ronaldo.


Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima. The retired Brazilian superstar born 18 September 1976. One of only three men to have received the FIFA Player of the Year award three times or more - along with Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi.

For more than a decade Ronaldo was Brazil’s goalgetter. Unrivaled power, pace to frighten any defense and ruthlessness in front of goal that many looked at in awe - Ronaldo was the all-round package.

Ronaldo retired after the 2011 season with an astonishing football resume. Having played for both Inter Milan and AC Milan in Italy and also both Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain - he was truly one of the most prominent players of his time.

Ronaldo and Brazil
Ronaldo played 98 matches for the Brazilian national team, scoring 62 goals. Aged 17 he won his first World Cup in the United States in 1994. Four years later at the next World Cup, Brazil reached the final, but lost to the hosts from France - Ronaldo was rewarded the Golden Ball for player of the tournament. He won his second World Cup in South Korea/Japan in 2002 - this time he was honored with the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. In January 2013 Ronaldo was named one of six ambassadors of the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The World Cup Record
Ronaldo holds the record for most FIFA World Cup goals. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Ronaldo became the highest goalscorer in World Cup history - beating the German Gerd Müller's previous record of 14 by one. Another German - Miroslav Klose - has since then made it to 14 goals. Klose will be attending this year's World Cup chasing to tie and beat Ronaldo's record.


After scoring ten goals - five each in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup, Klose claimed four goals in 2010 World Cup moving up to 14 - catching up with his fellow German Gerd Müller.

Ronaldo who is just a year older than Klose, was denied a chance to play at the 2010 World Cup as he was not considered by Brazilian coach Dunga. Ronaldo's record is an accumulation of four World Cups: 0 in 1994, four in 1998, eight in 2002 and three in 2006.

Will Klose beat Ronaldo's record?
At age 35, turning 36 just before the FIFA 2014 World Cup, Klose is not first choice as the striker of Germany. With several injuries this season and a terrifying German squad including offensive players like Marco Reus, Mario Gómez, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos and André Shürrle just to name a few - it seems less likely that Klose are about to beat Ronaldo.
Germany is settled in Group G together with Portugal, the United States and Ghana. All three strong opponents, which might keep Klose on the bench during most of the group stage. That being said, Klose scored 4 goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualification - one against Ireland, two against Sweden and one against Austria. Klose has said that this will be his last tournament for Germany and hereby his last chance to beat Ronaldo and claim the record. Coincidentally Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal against Ghana - Klose could do the same.

Responding to questions about Klose matching or surpassing his record Ronaldo admitted:
"That worries me a little bit, but not so much. I think my history and his history are separate, everyone makes their own story. Regardless, if Klose does score in the World Cup and he matches or surpasses me, I know my history will not be erased by this. Therefore, I have a small concern, but there is no envy, since he is playing and I am not. We both have our own stories, mine has already been written but he is writing his now. It is what it is."

All speculations along with the question if Klose will beat Ronaldo's record will be answered this summer at the 2014 FIFA World Cup - but one thing is for sure: Ronaldo has scored his last World Cup goal, but he remains a legend and phenomenon - with or without the World Cup record.
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