Monday, February 14, 2011

The Phenomenon

It is with mixed feelings that I took the news of Brazilian Ronaldo's end to his career. I wish he could play on a few more years, trying to get some of his old game back, and mesmerize fans with his dazzling runs and goals. I suppose that would be really too much asking for a 34-year old who admitted his body just couldn't match his mental desire to stay in the game. Just seeing a snapshot of him now is enough to see that he is right. End of a truly great Phenomenon.

For, at his best, Ronaldo was in my opinion, the best of the best of all strikers. His technique, dribbling, and explosive runs have never been matched by any other forward, and his finishing was there with the best. It is with those images of him taking on defender after defender at full-speed towards goal that I remember most, while statistic-aware fans might think more in terms of World Player of the Year accolades and World Cup goal-scoring records; the speed of Thierry Henry, the power of Drobga, the finishing of Van Nistelrooy, and the finesse of Van Basten all incorporated into one. That was O Phenomeno.

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