Ronaldo nervous ahead of last match
Retired striker Ronaldo gets nervous just thinking about his upcoming farewell match with Brazil’s national team.
Ronaldo said Monday he knows his emotions will get the best of him when he officially bids farewell to the Brazil squad in Tuesday’s friendly against Romania.
”I’m so nervous that I’m shaking,” Ronaldo said after he was honored by the Brazilian football federation for his services with the national team. ”I’m moved already.”
He said he can’t imagine how it will feel to wear the famed No. 9 yellow jersey one last time.
”I don’t think I’m prepared for this goodbye,” Ronaldo said. ”I owe a lot to the Brazilian national team. From the beginning it opened doors for me all over the world.”
The match against Romania is part of Brazil’s preparations for next month’s Copa America, so Ronaldo will play only a few minutes on Tuesday. He is expected to enter the match in the 30th minute, then will be honored in a ceremony at halftime at the Pacaembu stadium.
”It would be a dream to say goodbye scoring a goal,” Ronaldo said, not hiding that he will be hoping for a penalty kick to make things easier. ”I’m already telling my teammates, ‘Go down as soon as you get inside the penalty area.”’
Ronaldo will likely play along with young sensation Neymar, who is touted as his replacement in the Brazilian national team.
The 34-year-old Ronaldo retired from football in February after an 18-year career, saying he couldn’t stay fit anymore. He played in four World Cups and remains the competition’s all-time leading scorer with 15 goals.
Ronaldo led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title in South Korea and Japan and was a member of the squad that won the 1994 tournament in the United States.
His last official match with Brazil was in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Brazil lost to France in the quarterfinals. His last club was Brazil’s Corinthians, which is also expected to honor Ronaldo on Tuesday.
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni