Rivaldo, Ronaldo and that last big pay cheque

August 28, 2008


If you had told Rivaldo a few years ago that he would end up playing in Uzbekistan, it is doubtful he would have believed you.

Playing in Greece with Olimpiakos and AEK Athens was already an unusual place for the ageing former World Cup winner to wind down his career. Gary Lineker went to Japan, David Beckham to the U.S. but the Brazilian signing for Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor is something else.

At least Rivaldo has been totally open about his reason for going: Money. Uzbek clubs obviously have a lot of it. Kuruvchi managed to persuade Samuel Eto’o to go there last month to discuss a move before he ended up staying at Barcelona.

The Times has found another place where players who are probably past their best tend to head — Serie A. Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko are on the list but the proud Italians will point out that AC Milan shipped out Rivaldo long ago.

If former Milan striker and fallen idol Ronaldo appears at Manchester City, the (English-based) Times may have to eat some humble pie.

Mark Meadows, Milan

PHOTO: AEK Athens forward Rivaldo heads the ball against Getafe during a UEFA Cup match, Feb 21 REUTERS/Susana Vera


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Mark – I too believe that the English are destined to eat humble pie – eventually – and again – on the issue of the quality of their football.

I mostly watch the Premiership these days but I have to say that while The Best League in the World is buying up all of the best players and managers “in the world” – the English Disease still lingers there.

And the English know this themselves.

For example, yesterday, as Liverpool faced Champions League elimination (read humiliation) the guy doing the text commentary at the BBC – Jonathan Stevenson – gave us this gem:

“2209: Fernando Torres runs down the right wing and boots the ball straight out of play into the crowd. That’s what happens when a cultured player spends a year in England. (Tick, tick, tick…)”

I guarantee you that if the First Ronaldo ends up in the hands of Mark Hughes at City – his game will not improve – while it’s a much safer bet that both Ronaldinho and Shevchenko (my oh my what a couple of cases we have here) will get rehabilitated in the able hands of Carlo Ancellotti and in the midst of a superior footballing culture.

Posted by Beautifulgamer | Report as abusive

ronaldo has always proved he can make sublime returns to football, only an idiot would right him off
he owns.
he will be the best player the prem has ever seen

Posted by jrain 444 | Report as abusive

You’re right jrain 444 – Ronaldo has made some big comebacks – for instance his performance at WC2002 but I think he is too old now and I don’t think the English footballing culture is right for him – he needs to be subtly and carefully managed – and I don’t think he’ll find that kind of attitude in the UK. Italy is the place for that. Serie A – “Campionato PiĆ¹ Bello Del Mondo”…

Posted by Beautifulgamer | Report as abusive

Ronaldo is obviously a great player; a legend. But the premiership has always been about power and strength of subtly and touch.

Let’s not forget Ronaldinho turned them down to go to Italy for less money.

Man City would have to change their style of play to accommodate Ronaldo — Who, undoubtedly played his best in Spain.. and for Scholari’s Brasil.

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive


Posted by GALIH | Report as abusive

fernando torres transfer to the epl was the best thing he could have done, the style and pace fit his game better. Ronaldo at man city, that is something i would like to see! Hotspur need to take advantage of the situation, with play makers like modric and dos santos, adding ronaldo to that line up would be a new breed of attack for the epl

Posted by lonm13 | Report as abusive

> “Ronaldo is obviously a great player; a legend. But the premiership has always been about power and strength of subtly and touch.”

Over the years I’ve been to a few games featuring Ronaldo and the thing that struck me about him is that he is exactly that kind of player: he’s bulky and strong, but has incredible control for someone with his strength. He would have really done well in the Premiership a few years ago. These days, no chance. I hope he surprises me for Milan but I can’t help thinking he should’ve retired after that last knee injury.

Another thing that struck me about Ronaldo is how lazy he appears to be. After an attack he’ll just amble back to the halfway line at his own pace and if he’s in an offside position, so be it, he’ll just miss this attack move out and get involved with the next one! Despite that (or because of it? Defenders give him loads of space when he seems uninterested) he popped up and got the important goals.

Anyway, Rivaldo playing in Uzbekistan!! Haha, I missed that one. Surely he could take on the whole league single-handedly, a bit like Beckham’s doing every week in the US?

Posted by Markg | Report as abusive

Rivaldo and Ronaldo! What a team! These two are undoubtly two of the greatest players the football world has heard seen. The problem with Rivaldo was that he could only play with his talented and unmatched left leg. I am glad that Rivaldo is still playing and wherever he goes he gains the affection of the fans.

Now, Ronaldo! What a player! This guy has nothing to prove to anyone in the whole world. He has won every individual award. He has also won all major compititions as a team since eventhough he did not played the Champions League with AC Milan, he was still a member an part of that team as many agree. The olimpic gold is the only not won by Ronaldo and Brazil. Strength, power, control, balance, etc. this guy has it all. Ronaldo is just unfortunate that he has spent half of his career battling injury. Could anyone imagine what would be if these had not happened. Can you imagine a person scoring five goals in one game again another top team as in his days with cruzeiro, or scoring a hat-trick in style against Man Utd on a Champions League at Old Tr. He even got a standing ovation from the Man U. crowd. Ronaldo’s problem was that his body could not handle his genius mind when it came to the game and that he was expoided and overplayed wherever he went. Coaches and clubs would play him for 90 minutes even if winning by a margin.

Ronaldo’s possible move to Man. City is just as the coach has stated, a marketing project, which involves an idol to the world which with plenty of money still has the love for futebol to keep playing at a time where many other would have given up. What a Champion!

Posted by Abner Gamboa | Report as abusive

Abner, Gamboa well said man!!!!!

Ronaldo does not have to prove anything to anyone! He is one true legend!

Posted by MM | Report as abusive

They were the finest the world has had. For Rivaldo, I admire him but can’t vote on his gaining form.
Concerning Ronaldo, He may come back provided he is given a chance. Remember, he is the only football player to stage a great come back and won the world cup.
The English league should be proud to have a legend like Ronaldo, please don’t talk bad of him. Just watch him and you will enjoy him.
Who says he is old? Haven’t old football legend like Roger Milla of Cameroon come back and played well even in their forties?
Please keep an eye Ronaldo Senior, he will be the man to watch at City this season.

Posted by Tetuh | Report as abusive