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What more could Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos have in common with Juan Sebastian Veron later this year apart from being among the greatest players in South American football?
As Rex Gowar and Pedro Fonseca write, it is not new for South Americans to return home after brilliant careers in Europe and gain a new lease of life well into their 30s. Veron, though, touched new heights when he led Estudiantes to victory in the Libertadores Cup — South America’s Champions League — in 2009.
Corinthians, with Ronaldo and now Roberto Carlos on board, are celebrating their centenary this year and they have set themselves the target of winning South American football’s top club prize for the first time.
The other big clubs in the Sao Paulo region, Pele’s Santos in the 1960s, Sao Paulo and Palmeiras in the last two decades, have all won it. So have Cruzeiro from Belo Horizonte, Flamengo and Vasco da Gama from Rio de Janeiro and Gremio and Internacional from the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.