Report: Ronaldo set to announce his retirement

Three-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldo will announce his

retirement from football on Monday, according to a Brazilian

newspaper.

”It’s time,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by the website of

the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper on Sunday. ”I can’t keep going. I

wanted to continue but I can’t. I think about making a play but I

can’t execute it.”

Ronaldo’s agent, Fabiano Farah, didn’t confirm the report but

told local media that it is a possibility. Corinthians has

announced a news conference for Monday afternoon at the team’s

headquarters, without giving further details.

Last week, the 34-year-old Ronaldo was heavily blamed by fans

for Corinthians’ disappointing elimination from the Copa

Libertadores, Latin America’s most important competition and the

only major tournament the Brazilian club is yet to win.

Supporters damaged players’ cars and threw rocks at the team’s

bus, and Ronaldo said at the time that the fan violence made his

consider putting an end to his career.

He had been expected to keep playing until the end of the year,

but he is visibly out of shape with his physical condition having

deteriorated. He has been struggling to play at a high level and

hadn’t scored a goal since last year.

If the retirement is confirmed, Ronaldo will be ending a stellar

18-year career.

He played in three World Cups and remains the tournament’s

all-time scoring leader with 15 goals. He helped Brazil win the

title in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, scoring twice in the

final.

Ronaldo thrived in Europe after leaving Cruzeiro to PSV

Eindhoven in 1993, starring for Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid

and AC Milan before returning to Brazil at the beginning of 2009 to

recover from the third serious knee injury of his career. He won

the FIFA player of the year award in 1996, 1997 and 2002.

Ronaldo scored 62 goals in 97 internationals with Brazil, but

was never called up again to the national team after a

disappointing performance at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. There

were calls for his return to the squad after he helped Corinthians

win the 2009 Brazilian Cup, but he was never able to get back in

shape.

Ronaldo brought a lot of sponsors to Corinthians and is expected

to remain linked to the club’s football operations, at least until

his contract is set to expire at the end of the year.

His announcement to stop playing would come two days after

former Brazil teammate Roberto Carlos said he was leaving the club

because he and his family were being threatened by fans after the

Copa Libertadores elimination.