The second-highest scorer in World Cup history announced on Wednesday that he aims to make a comeback to soccer… with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL.
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Ronaldo, 38, has been crowned World Player of the Year three times and spent his illustrious career playing for the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He last played professionally in 2011 with Brazilian club Corinthians.
However in a press conference in Florida on Wednesday, the minority owner of the second-tier Strikers confirmed that he is aiming to get back in shape and re-launch his career in the U.S.
“I will train a lot, and if the coach needs me, maybe [return to playing],” Ronaldo said. “It’s easy to get in shape – you have to train. To play a soccer game you have to be in very good shape so I will try. I’ll start another challenge and I’m sure it will help the league and it will help the team and help soccer in America.”
One of the all-time greats of the game, Ronaldo will get plenty of media attention for this attempted comeback and it will no doubt raise the profile of the Strikers around the globe. With Fort Lauderdale’s other Brazilian owners bringing Ronaldo on board a few months ago claiming he had supreme “business connections”, it is now slotting into place as to exactly why that happened. Ronaldo getting fit may be a bit of an issue.
Even in his pomp with Real and Inter, the Brazilian striker was always carrying an extra bit of timber and was never known for his endurance. That said, if he can get in decent shape then he will likely score plenty of goals in North America’s second-tier.
So, in the NASL next season we could have two legendary forwards in Raul and Ronaldo squaring off against each other when the Strikers play the New York Cosmos. Not bad for a second-tier matchup, not bad at all.