Considering he is a three-time World Player of the Year, it would be remiss to ignore the news that Ronaldoofficially signed with Brasilian club Corinthians today. Sorry, to clarify, it's the Ronaldo who now carries the unfortunate tag of "the fat one" to distinguish him from Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United.
For whatever the reason, Ronaldo went from the world's best player -- a player who made opposing defenders ruin their underwear while playing at the world's biggest clubs, to a punchline. Type in "Ronaldo fat" into Google and you get over two million hits. Ronaldo probably didn't help his image earlier this year when he made headlines for all the wrong reasons for an unfortunate mix-up with transvestite prostitutes, if to pathetically put an exclamation point on his fall from grace, albeit without a return of the crazy haircut from the 2002 World Cup. (A bizarre guest spot on 'The Simpsons' might count as well.)
Perhaps what's the most striking is that Ronaldo is only 32, which doesn't seem that old to American sports fans, but makes him a brontosauras in terms of world soccer. It's also amazing to think that a little over two years ago Ronaldo was breaking Gerd Müller's all-time World Cup goal-scoring record of 14 in a match against Ghana in Germany. That might as well have been a lifetime ago.
What Ronaldo is trying to accomplish with his comeback is debatable. He's coming off major knee surgery and is clearly a shadow of his former self. Is he just trying to get into passable shape so some cash-rich European clubs (cough cough Manchester City) will take a flier on him one last time?
Ronaldo was never a personal favorite, but it's sad to see an icon of the game end so ingloriously. Then again, as Thom Yorke once sang, "You do it to yourself...and that's what really hurts."
Anyway, video proof that Ronaldo was once good, after the jump.