Ronaldo blamed the high altitude after
Ecuador ended Brazil's 10-match unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers on
"I had a big headache, I was short of air and I needed oxygen to breathe,"
the Brazil striker told reporters following Ecuador's 1-0 win.
Ronaldo, despite his suffering, played the full 90 minutes and wasted an
excellent late chance to equalise for the world champions.
"I'm here, giving everything for the national team," added the Real
Madrid player, who was due to fly straight back to Spain for his club's
title clash with Barcelona on Saturday.
Brazil's defeat, which took place 2,800 metres above sea level, means
they could also lose first place in the 10-nation South American
qualifying group if Argentina win at home to Venezuela later on
But they remain comfortably on course for a top-four finish and a berth
in the 2006 finals in Germany.
"The important thing is to qualify," said coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.
"Losing first place and losing the leadership doesn't mean anything.
"We knew this was one of our high-risk games. They improved in the
second half. We lost the game, we didn't want to, but it happened."
Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez was delighted with the result.
"It's good, from any point of view, to beat the world champions," he
said. "This team has got a lot of good things, a lot of organisation.
"It was very tense but, when we made mistakes, Brazil didn't take
Striker Ivan Kaviedes, who scored the only goal when Ecuador beat Brazil
for the first time three years ago, said the victory was a reflection of
his side's recent improvement.
"It's no coincidence that we beat Brazil," he said. "We're still alive
and we want the people to enjoy it."