I reflected a lot and realized that I’m wasting my time writing about lies, inventions and fake news by Jair Bolsonaro and his troops. And, in this troop, the pseudo ace of the Brazilian team, Neymar, is included.
So I decided to write about the truth, about facts that really happened, about true stars of Brazilian football, about guys who decided on a World Cup for Brazil and not about the cai-cai player who spreads fake news.
Therefore, I decided to watch the documentary “Ronaldo, o Fenômeno”, which is available on Globoplay.
I remember when he appeared, because I was playing for Flamengo and we faced Cruzeiro twice. We won both at Mineirão and Maracanã, but back in Belo Horizonte I was impressed when he took the ball. It was an amazing thing that caught my attention.
Former player Paulo Roberto (right-back) is a friend I really like. I played with him at São Paulo and, at that time, he was at Cruzeiro. In one of the attacks of the Minas Gerais team, Paulo was on my side and Ronaldo made an incredible move.
I asked, “Paul, who is this boy?” Then he told me that the boy played a lot, that he did spectacular things in training and that he was going to be one of the greatest in history.
It was 1993. I had returned to Brazil that year, after staying in Europe for seven and a half years. At that time there were no social networks, internet and cable channels were things for very few. So I didn’t know almost any Brazilian player at that time.
Soon after, Ronaldo went to Europe, to shine and do unimaginable things at PSV, Barcelona, Internazionale, Real Madrid… but, mainly, in the Brazilian team.
The documentary is very well done and deals with many wonderful, dramatic, strange subjects, in short, it tells the life of one of the greatest players of all time.
Talking about the 1998 World Cup and listening to the reports of the time, reading the articles but, mainly, watching Ronaldo’s conversation with Roberto Carlos (who was with him in his room on the day of the final against France), I felt a lot of honesty in them about a inexplicable subject.
I imagined Roberto’s despair looking at Ronaldo having something and, as the full-back himself said, he can’t say what it was and no doctor could explain it.
But watching the documentary, I was scared of all the pressure and pressure that fell on Ronaldo, who was just a young man.
It’s hard to watch the images of injuries again, especially the one against Lazio. It was a tragic and desperate scene, especially for a former player, like me, who went through some very serious injuries and several surgeries. We feel the same pain watching these scenes.
Ronaldo was a player who, in addition to his impressive talent, was also very strong. Not only physically, but also mentally. The most incredible thing is the enormous charisma he has to this day.
After the two patellar tendon injuries, many did not believe he could play again. Perhaps they were the worst moments of his football life, because what had happened in the 1998 World Cup final was already over. But, faced with a serious injury, the player always thinks that he will not play again. I was heartbroken reviewing those images.
Seeing the entire process of the recovery phase that he did for four months in a clinic in France, it is amazing how strong of will is and also how much pain he had to endure in the recovery work of the operated knee flexion. And he ran out of space at Inter, with the work method of Argentine coach Héctor Cúper.
Even with all this, Ronaldo recovered and went to the 2022 World Cup, in Japan and Korea, but with a lot of mistrust. He did not participate in the Qualifiers, but when he went to the Cup he was already recovered and arrived well.
These days I heard a comment saying that Ronaldo was called up injured for the 2002 World Cup. But it is not true, because he had already returned to play for Internazionale de Milan. He trained a lot to be decisive, as he really was.
Ronaldo was as important to Brazil in the 2002 championship as Gerd Müller was to Germany in 1974.
I commented along with Falcão all the games of the selection in that Cup. In the semi-final against Turkey he wasn’t doing well in the game and we thought he should have left during the game. But he stayed and scored the winning goal (a great goal!), taking Brazil to the final.
There we learned that a “phenomenal” player does not withdraw, because he can decide the game at any time and in any way, even with a goal.
But in the final against Germany, Ronaldo outdid himself and made history once and for all. Scoring two goals in a World Cup final is not for everyone, especially after everything he had been through from 1998 to months before the penta, as he said in the documentary.
After the two goals in the final, Felipão took Ronaldo out of the game. And, in his words, there was a movie of everything he had been through in the last four years.
It was the moment when I was most moved, seeing Rodrigo Paiva (who was a CBF press officer at the time), saying that Ronaldo told him while still on the field that God had been very good.
Life is made of choices, and Ronaldo chose to be one of the greatest players in football history, to score goals in a World Cup final… he chose and achieved all of that.
I also made the right choice yesterday, when I preferred to watch Ronaldo Phenomenon’s documentary on Globoplay in the afternoon and in the evening, as I already indicated, I went to watch David Bowie’s concert-documentary at the cinema. I did this instead of watching a live with only liars and people who want to destroy Brazil, along with a player who chose to be an asshole.