People who criticise Ronaldo
Nazario, Real Madrid's Brazilian-born forward, lack respect for one of
football's great names, Zico, a former Brazilian soccer star, who now manages
the Japan national team, told reporters on Tuesday.
"I waiting to greet him with open arms in Japan," Zico told a press conference
in Rio, during his last stop before heading to Germany for the 2006 World Cup
competition. "Those criticisms are a lack of respect for one of football's great
names. Every athlete experiences problems, but he has already shown he can come
back. I would not want to have to deal with his current medical conditions,"
Zico, the former star player for Flamengo, said he had been surprised by remarks
made by French soccer player Michel Platini, who called Ronaldo old and fat, and
added that he could not hold candle to Theirry Henry, a Frenchman who plays for
English soccer team Arsenal.
"Henry is a good player, but he is not better than Ronaldo," Zico said. "When he
has won what Ronaldo has already won, then I might think about changing my ideas."
Zico said that he thinks the only way Ronaldo can answer his critics is with his
performance on the football field, and said he was sad that he would have to
face him in the World Cup just when he is having to prove his skills. Japan is
in the same World Cup group as Brazil.