Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Farewell Ronaldo, one of the game’s greats

SPORT SOCCER WORLDRonaldo has just made the official announcement that he is to retire with immediate effect, bringing to an end one of the great soccer stories.

The 34-year-old Brazilian announced his decision at a news conference in Sao Paulo a few moments ago, after concluding that the battle for fitness -- always a bruising struggle -- was one he could no longer win.

I suspect a few people will react by shrugging their shoulders and saying they didn't even know he was still playing but the end of the road for such a great player deserves marking properly, so here's an appreciation by our own Brian Homewood, for many years our correpondent in Rio de Janeiro.

By Brian Homewood

Three times World Player of the Year, twice World Cup winner and overall topscorer in the tournament's history -- not a bad record for a player who suffered three serious knee injuries and was constantly fighting weight problems.