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The Return of the Original Ronaldo: Can He Recapture Past Glories?

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In a guest editorial, David Donaldson casts his eye on former FC Barcelona star Ronaldo, as the Brazilian plans an unlikely return to professional football at the age of 38

It is something of a tragedy that despite his considerable achievements in the footballing world, former Brazilian striker Luis Ronaldo is forced to share his name with the current World Player of the Year and one of the finest forwards of a generation. While there is no doubting Cristiano Ronaldo’s standing as one of the best players in the world, however, it is wrong to forget the quality of his predecessor during the peak of his career.

In fact, were it not for injuries, Luis Ronaldo may well have superseded the achievements of all others and won more than the two Ballon d’or crowns he was ultimately awarded in 1998 and 2002. Having played successfully in Brazil, Holland, Spain and Italy, he earned cult status all around the world and until recently was even the leading goal scorer in World Cup Finals history. The news that Ronaldo is looking to return to the game has therefore captured the attention of the world’s media, many of whom remember Ronaldo’s stunning performances for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in particular.

How has Ronaldo spent his time since Retirement?

It may also come as a surprise to learn that Ronaldo is planning a professional return to the game, especially as he has achieved considerable success since retiring. He has made his name as a professional poker player (not dissimilar to current Barca stars Gerard Pique and fellow Brazilian Neymar), for example, serving as a brand ambassador for Poker Stars and performing in several, high-end tournaments. He recently won an estimated £30,000 at the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) main event in the Bahamas, beating off stern competition from former golfer Sergio Garcia.

ronaldo poker

You would need to play a considerable amount of online poker through the Royal Vegas Australia Mobile App to achieve this level, so Ronaldo has clearly been able to forge a niche for himself outside of football. Despite this, he has obviously missed the lure of top flight football, and is said to be preparing for a return to the sport after an absence of more than three years. American side Fort Lauderdale Strikers are said to be keen on signing the striker, so long as he can shift his excess weight and get back into some form of viable shape.

With this in mind, it seems clear that Ronaldo has committed to making a return to the game. The question that remains is whether this is a wise move, especially given his legacy and life outside of the sport. With a reputation as one of the greatest forwards of all time and a number of successful ventures outside of football, it would surely represent a risk to play professionally once more. What do you think Cules? Would you like to see Ronaldo suit up and play again?