Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima was born on 22 September 1976 in a poor suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Like most of his childhood friends, Ronaldo began his soccer career playing barefoot in the streets of his neighborhood. At the age of 14, he joined SCristovo soccer club and only two years later became the star of Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte scoring a total of 58 goals in 60 matches and earning himself a reputation for his explosive pace and outstanding finishing skills. His goal-scoring record and unusual agility led him to be included in the Brazilian World Cup winning team the following year. After the World Cup, many top European football clubs were trying to sign him. Many people, including Brazilian football legend Pelé, referred to him as the most promising footballer of his generation.
Since his transfer to Dutch team PSV Eindhoven, Ronaldo s biography is one of success after success. Two Copa América s, a UEFA Cup, a Dutch Cup, a Spanish League Cup, and two awards as best player in the world, all in the space of two years, are some of Ronaldo s impressive achievements. On arrival to Inter-Milan in 1997, Ronaldo became the idol of the local fans who refer to him as “il Fenomeno.”
Since the 98 World Cup he has suffered two serious knee injuries that have severely limited his appearances. Just when people began to wonder whether Ronaldo would be able to continue with his football career, he proved to the world that he still could play. In the World Cup held in Korea and Japan, the magical striker won the Golden Shoe award and tied Pelé's Brazilian record for career World Cup goals with 12. He helped Brazil capture its fifth World Cup championship on June 30 with a 2-0 win over Germany. It was the third time that Ronaldo has ever played in the World Cup.