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Football legends: Ronaldo. National team career

Yesterday we published an article in which we recalled Ronaldo’s club career in detail. But don’t forget that Ronaldo has had an excellent job for the Brazilian national team.

Ronaldo - 2002 FIFA World Cup

Ronaldo was invited to the Brazilian national team in March 1994, and his debut took place in a match against Iceland. The Brazilians won 3–0, and the newcomer took part in all the goals: a goal, an assist and a penalty earned. As a result, Carlos Alberto Pereira included Ronaldo in the Brazilian national team’s bid for the 1994 World Cup. And although the young striker did not enter the field there, he received the gold medal of the World Championship.

Ronaldo became the leading player of “selesao” in 1997. Then the Brazilian national team won two important tournaments – the Confederations Cup and the South American Championship. On the first of them, Ronaldo scored four goals (including 3 in the final against the Australian national team), on the second – 5. At the upcoming World Cup, Ronaldo was given the main star of the Brazilian national team.

In the beginning, it was so – Ronaldo regularly scored, and the Brazilian national team reached the final of the championship, where the host team – the French national team-was waiting. On the eve of the final, it became known that Ronaldo was recognized as the best player of the championship (I still do not understand this strange tradition – to name the best before the start of the main game of the tournament).

1998 FIFA World Cup - Michel Platini

Before the final, it suddenly became clear that Ronaldo is not applying to the Brazilian national team! It seemed impossible. Soon, the Brazilians change their bid, and Ronaldo enters the field. However, in the match itself, lost by the Brazilians 0:3, he acts unassembled and somehow sluggish and does not show himself in any way. As it turned out later, on the eve of the match, Ronaldo had an epileptic attack, and he went on the field under the influence of drugs.

The reasons for the attack were very different-ranging from working versions (side effects of painkillers, nervous breakdown) and ending with quite exotic, up to the machinations of French chefs who decided to disable the best player of their rivals.

But the next World Cup was the Ronaldo championship. The Brazilian national team then showed sparkling attacking football, winning all seven matches, scoring 18 goals in them, 8 of which were on account of the “Phenomenon”. Thus, Ronaldo became the first player since 1974 who managed to score more than six goals in the final stage of the World Cup.

Oliver Kahn - 2002 FIFA World Cup

Ironically, the tournament’s best player was recognized as the goalkeeper of the German national team Oliver Kahn, to whom Ronaldo scored two goals in the final match. This is me once again about the strangeness of determining the best player of the tournament.

Ronaldo - Cristiano Ronaldo

And four years later, Ronaldo, scoring three goals for his team, broke Gerd Muller’s record for the most goals at the World Championships. It is symbolic that this was done on German soil. However, the Brazilians then failed to defend their title. In the quarterfinals, they lost to the French national team.

After that, Ronaldo was called up to the national team a few times, but he spent his farewell match in a national team shirt. This meeting took place on June 7, 2011 – the Brazilian national team defeated the Romanian team.

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