Ronaldo was born on 22 September 1976 into a humble family in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Bento Ribeiro under the name Luis Nazario de Lima. Driven by his childhood hero Zico, the youngster enters football early in his life. Nazario gets his big break at the age of 17 when he is called up by Brazil’s senior national team. He performs well and is selected for his country’s World cup squad. Because of his tender age, the young Ronaldo is kept as a substitute and watches on as his team wins the 1994 World Cup. Ronaldo’s international appearances help him get noticed by European club PSV Eindhoven. He moves to PSV and instantly becomes top scorer of the Dutch league.
He has graced the world’s best national football team, not to mention several of its leading sides with his unique talents; he has served as a peace ambassador for the United Nations. At 32, Ronaldo has become one of the biggest celebrities in the world.
Overall, in two seasons in Holland he totaled a breathtaking 66 goals from 71 appearances. It did not go unnoticed elsewhere, and in the summer of 1996 he was signed by Spanish giants, Barcelona. During his one season with Barca, Ronaldo won the Spanish Super Cup, the Spanish Cup and the European Cup Winner’s Cup. Ronaldo scored 49 times in 68 games for Inter, and helped them to win the UEFA Cup in 1988. During the 1997/98 season he set a new benchmark for strikers in Italy, finishing the campaign with the best goal-per-game average in the history of Serie A.
In 2006, Ronaldo traveled to his fourth consecutive World Cup finals with Brazil, knowing that he stood just two goals away from equaling Gerd Muller’s record of 14 goals in the tournament. In 2007, Ronaldo returned to Italy once more, this time to sign for AC Milan, in the hope that he might rekindle the success that led the Italian media to label him Fenomeno.