Ronaldo Luis Nazario Da Lima finally returned to football after more
than a year out through injury.
He is now enjoying football back in his native Brazil with Corinthians,
and has scored four goals in the last five games. Ronaldo has really hit
the headlines recently though, after declaring he wants to play in one
last World Cup before he retires.
Two things need to be examined in determining whether Ronaldo will
return to the national side.
Firstly, does he still have the ability to play for Brazil? And secondly,
are there better players who could be in the squad?
Let's start by answering the first question.
Ronaldo has time and again proved all of his doubters wrong.
The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year was, by many, regarded as a
player of the past just before the World Cup in 2002.
He had suffered a succession of knee injuries, but Ronaldo came back as
though he had never left. Ronaldo led Brazil to World Cup glory,
finishing as the highest goal scorer, and second behind only the
outstanding Oliver Kahn for the Golden Ball Award.
A move to Real Madrid followed, and in his four full seasons with Los
Blancos, he was top scorer for the club each year, even though the club
was marred with problems.
This is just one example of Ronaldo's resilience. He returned at
Internazionale after his first knee injury and has defied the odds to
score goals wherever he has played.
Of course, Ronaldo has to lose a little more weight, but if he does and
maintains his fitness, part one of our problem is solved.
The second question is a little more difficult than the first one.
Brazil have always had excellent offensive players, and will continue to
produce them. There are players like Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Diego,
and Alexandre Pato who are sure of a place in the squad for the World
There are other players whose position is debatable. Some may argue that
bringing Ronaldo back in the squad may stop the growth of players like
Keirrison, Douglas Costa, and other young strikers.
However, none of these players can guarantee a performance on the
biggest stage in world football, can they?
Even Ronaldo was just 17 when he travelled to World Cup 94, failing to
play a single game. He was still playing in Brazil, as are the
Giving them a chance could be risky for Dunga, and weighing them down
with responsibility will surely be too much for their young and
Then there are players like Ronaldinho and Julio Baptista, who are
either injured or far from top form. The last time Ronaldinho and
Baptista played well was three years ago, when 'Dinho was at Barcelona
and Baptista was still at Sevilla.
Adriano is another troublesome character, who is either too busy
partying or injured. It is hard to see Adriano, off form for a few years
now with two or three good games per season, reserve a seat on the
flight to South Africa.
So then, who else would Dunga want to pick? Jo, Vagner Love, Rafael
The best option is to pick Ronaldo. He is showing he is hungrier than
ever (see the celebration for his first Corinthians goal), and would be
a safe bet as a goal machine.