Ronaldo, who played for clubs like A C Milan and Real Madrid and his national side Brazil, was one of the most talented strikers in the world.
He started playing football - like so many Brazilians - on the street with his friends. But fortunately for Brazil, he was one of the lucky ones who was discovered, and he joined the local club at 14.
When Ronaldo was 16, he was scouted by Cruzeiro and immediately started playing in the first team - that year he scored 12 goals in 14 games.
The next year, in 1994, he was signed by the Dutch side PSV Eindhoven and had an incredible season with an amazing goal-scoring record of 30 goals in 33 games. The following season, however, due to more players coming into the club, Ronaldo only managed 13 appearances for the club even though he did score 12 goals.
Ronaldo left PSV and joined Barcelona in 1996, where he had another excellent season scoring 34 goals in 37 games. In 1996 and 1997 he won the FIFA World Footballer of the Year, becoming the youngest and only player to win the award twice.
In spite of his success, Ronaldo moved on again and signed for Inter Milan where he stayed until 2002 when he moved to Real Madrid, Barcelona's arch rivals.
Ronaldo has starred in 3 World Cups. He was in the Brazil squad in 1994 but didn’t actually play. In the 1998 World Cup in France he scored 4 goals on the way to the final when Brazil lost 3-0 to France.
However, in 2002, Ronaldo was the top goal scorer, scoring both goals in Brazil's 2-0 defeat of Germany in the World Cup Final.
In the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo got off to a shaky start, but in Brazil's third game - against Japan - he scored twice, thereby becoming the joint highest scorer in World Cup history with 14 finals goals equalling Gerd Muller's record.
In Brazil's defeat of Ghana in the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo scored again, to mean that he held the goalscoring record on his own.
In January 2007, AC Milan signed Ronaldo from Real Madrid for £4.95m on an 18-month deal.
In July 2004, Ronaldo became engaged to Daniella Cicarelli. Before that, he was married to a women's team football player, Milene Domingues - they have a son, Ronald.
In February 2008, Ronaldo was carried off in tears after rupturing a tendon in his left knee in AC Milan's match against Livorno and faced up to nine months out of action.
On 29 April 2008, the BBC reported:
"Brazilian football star Ronaldo has been caught up in a sex scandal with three cross-dressing prostitutes."
In May 2008, after a knee injury, Ronaldo left Milan. In 2009 he joined Corinthians in Brazil.
In February 2011, Ronaldo confirmed his retirement from professional football.
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