Valentine’s Day 2011 saw an announcement anticipated but met with sorrow around the football world and mourned with open grief in his native Brazil. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima stated at a hastily arranged press conference in Sao Paolo that he was retiring from the sport. The 34-year-old was clearly distraught and broke down several times as he explained the reason he can no play longer the game so dear to him.
I’ve lost the struggle against my body
This was a grim statement and fuel for the cynics that hilariously christened him “Fat Ronaldo”, so he would not be confused with the Portuguese impostor. On hearing the news, I expected a raft of tributes, obituaries and gushing appraisals of a career that touched the lives of millions. Unfortunately this was not the case.