Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima was born on September 18, 1976 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He was recognized as a child prodigy in his growing years. He was a regular member of all the football matches that were organized in his local area.
He received full support from his friends and neighbors because of which he progressed quickly through the ranks to be selected to play for the Cruzeiro team at the age of 16.
He performed exceptionally well in his first season by amassing 12 goals in the 14 matches he played. This performance helped him get a chance to play in the Brazilian National team itself in 1994.
His style of play as an attacking striker was very similar to the ‘Joga Bonito’ style of play of the Brazilians.
He was part of the 1994 World Cup winning team but did not get a chance to play a single match as he was only 17 years old. After the World Cup, he joined the PSV Eindhoven team in the Netherlands.
His first season at the club yielded 30 goals making him the instant star of the league.
In 1996, he helped his team win the Dutch Cup, he scored 54 goals in his 58-match career at the Dutch club.
He was transferred to Spanish giants FC Barcelona in 1996 for a world record fee of $19.5 million.
There were huge expectations from this young Brazilian who was playing in the toughest league in the world.
He went on to exceed expectations by scoring 47 goals in the 49 games he played in that season.
He was awarded the ‘FIFA Player of the Year’ award in 1996, at the age of just 20.
In 1997, he helped the club win the Copa Del Rey, Supercopa de Espana and the UEFA Cup making him the most valuable player of his side.
In 1997, he won the ‘FIFA Player of the Year’ for the 2nd time and also the ‘Ballon d’Or’.
Now Ronaldo was without a doubt the best footballer in the world. In 1997, he was now transferred to Italian club Inter Milan for another world record fee of $27 million.
Here he was soon among top goal scorers in the league. But because of a recurring knee problem, he was forced to miss a number of matches and the whole of the 2001-02 season.”
It will take time for us all to understand what has happened to us, but it is a joy to be surrounded by such happiness. ” – Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima in his career at Inter Milan, he scored 59 goals in a total of 99 appearances.
In 2002 Ronaldo was transferred to another Spanish giant’s Real Madrid for a sum of $46 million.
Here he was again able to show his magic by scoring goals at regular intervals. He helped the team win the Spanish Super Cup and the La Liga in 2003.
Till his departure from Real Madrid, he scored a total of 104 goals for the club to make it one of the most successful football clubs in the world.
From his debut in the Brazilian national side in 1994, he has been an important player of the team helping them finish 2nd in the 1998 World Cup and win the 2002 World Cup.
He has scored 62 goals in his 98-match career with Brazil and also is the highest scorer in the World Cup with 15 goals to his credit.
He has won the ‘FIFA Player of the Year’ award thrice, becoming only the third person to do so.
His net worth as of 2013 is in excess of $130 million, he is widely considered by many to be one of the greatest footballers of the century.