Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima aka Ronaldo aka Fat Ronaldo is arguably one of the greatest players of all-time. Not one to shy away from the media and the flashy, Ronaldo is known for the elegant & explosive playing style, as well as his shoes and hairstyles. Known as the “phenomenon,” he won Fifa World Player of the Year three times, the Ballon d’Or twice, two World Cup titles and numerous domestic championships.
One of the best dribblers of all-time, Ronaldo was known for his mazy runs and acrobatic finishes. He is the second leading goal scored in Brazilian National Team history and held the World Cup all-time scoring record with 15 goals his four trips to the tournament. (German, Miroslav Klose, recently broke this record) If you have 15 minutes to witness some majestic brilliance, check out the video below:
Let’s run down some stats on this prolific goalscorer:
Cruzeiro: 14 appearances – 12 goals
PSV: 46 appearances – 42 goals
Barcelona: 37 appearances – 37 goals
Inter Milan: 68 appearances – 49 goals
Real Madrid: 127 appearances – 83 goals
AC Milan: 20 appearances – 9 goals
Corinthians: 31 appearances – 18 goals
It is safe to say that in whichever country Ronaldo played in he scored goals. His completeness was always something admired by other attackers as Zlatan Ibrahimovic says, “”The best opponent of my career? Ronaldo, Il Fenomeno. Why? Because he was my idol and because, as a football player, he was complete. There will never, in my view, be a better player than him.” He was also feared by defenders as legendary Milan defender, Allesandro Nesta states here, “Ronaldo is the hardest attacker I’ve ever had to face. He was impossible to stop.” Even Messi had something to say about the mercurial Brazilian. “He was the best striker I’ve ever seen.”
Ronaldo was not without his fair share of controversy. He was a bit of a partier and on occasion, he found himself in less than desirable romantic situations. This includes the most public of his misgivings, a scandal involving three transvestite prostitutes which he met in 2008. This occurred while he was engaged to the future mother of this children, Maria Beatriz Antony.
The first their third child together would be born later on in that year and the couple continues to live together in Sao Paulo.
Currently, Ronaldo co-owns the sports marketing company 9INE with mixed martial artist Anderson Silva. He recently became part owner of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League and was rumored to want to attempt a comeback by playing with the side. With stints at PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and AC Milan, it is tough to put anything beyond the 38-year-old wonder-striker (including a shock comeback) and that is why he is this week’s Throwback Thursday player of the week.
Day two is the first regularly scheduled World Cup 2014 experience that the world gets to enjoy. We have three games on the docket, one of which could have massive implication in who finds their way into the knockout stages.
Mexico vs Honduras
Both teams national language is Spanish. Both teams need this game to start their world cup on the right foot. Both teams have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Tomorrow, enjoy Modelo Especial. Take in the crisp, refreshing flavor and watch as Mexico finally finds a way for Chicharito to get on the scoresheet.
Netherlands vs Spain
Whoever doesn’t think this game has massive implications in the next round does not deserve the beer you need for this game. They are an official sponsor of the Champions League and they always come up with some interesting and inviting commercials. Heineken is your beer of choice for this game. Smile, watch some good soccer and enjoy.
Chile vs Australia
So, when a beer is described as “Australian for beer,” and your country is largely known as an island paradise, it doesn’t really matter the quality of the beer just that you have it and enjoy it with your friends. I cannot tell and a lie and say Fosters tastes like a carefully brewed craft beer but if you want a taste of the nation that you can enjoy for hours on end without major repercussions the next day then this is the beer you need.
Brazil is opening their World Cup against Croatia and many assume that it is a automatic win for them. El Selecao are playing on home soil after all, and their team was exempt from going through the gauntlet of World Cup qualification. Add to that their star-power and pedigree, and it is no wonder that they are believed not only to be favorites for today’s opening game but also favorites to lift the World Cup trophy. However, it is a common misconception for people to count out Eastern European countries when it comes to soccer because they do not have the flashiness and history that teams such as England, Spain, Portugal, and Italy do. Croatia is a much better team then most people realize and if anyone is going to upset Brazil in the group stage it has to be them.
The best player on Croatia is Luka Modric. He makes his money playing club soccer for Real Madrid and his job during Croatia’s World Cup will be to play as a holding midfielder in charge of facilitating the offense and shoring up the defense. Ivan Rakitic is another great player who is currently rumored to be on the wish list of Barcelona. He will play in the center of the midfield alongside Luka Modric and will play as a destroyer in order to strengthen the Croatian defense against the high-octane Brazilian offense while Mateo Kovacic plays as the attacking midfielder. Unfortunately, Croatia will be without Mario Mandžukić who will be serving a one-game suspension which carried over from World Cup qualifying. He will definitely be missed but Nikita Jelavic has the talent, despite his less than satisfying Hull City club season, to put the ball in the back of the net while Mateo is forced to sit on the bench.
Neymar, Oscar David Luiz, Dani Alves, and Willian are just some of the many stars that will play for Brazil. They are quick, talented, and skilled both on and off the ball. The energy from the home crowd will spur them on even more as seen by their spectacular performances in last year’s Confederations Cup. However, since they did not have to qualify it has been awhile since they have faced the type of do-or-die games Croatia have become accustomed to after playing in the ultra-competitive European World cup qualification. Brazil deserve to be the favorites today but Croatia is capable of stealing a point here and if luck rolls their way they could possibly steal three.
The World Cup is a great chance to enjoy soccer. What is more embedded in the culture of the sport than that of a beer made for the occasion? This daily post will line up the best beers you can have with your viewing schedule. It can’t hurt to have options to deal with all the “professional soccer analysts” you will run into in your travels.
Day #1 Brazil vs Croatia
This is the opening match, the pinnacle of world sport. This game will be viewed by billions of people. Because Brazil is the host nation we must find a pint brewed and raised somewhere in the Amazonian land. We would be silly not to choose a beer as important to the country as the men’s national team themselves. Today, Brahma is your beer of choice. If you can get your hands on the Brazilian staple enjoy it as you watch the Brazilians take on the Croats on the grandest stage, in front of the grandest audience, as part some of the richest history in world soccer.
This beer won’t be to drown your sorrows but to celebrate the world as one as we embark on a great month of soccer.
This has to be the greatest ad for a cup of noodles ever. A guy in a Samurai suit doing crazy soccer tricks in Brazil…what more could you ask for in a commercial?
On the Google homepage there is a link where you can use street view to tour the streets of Brazil. This is an awesome idea by Google. It may be because the last World Cup was four years ago, but I do not remember the same amount of hype surrounding previous World Cups. It probably helps that this World Cup is in a much closer time zone but I feel as if the growth of soccer in this country has also greatly contributed to the increased coverage and marketing. Whatever it is though, I’m glad it happened, because this has been a real treat.