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Brazil's Ronaldo was the face of the globalisation of football.

Tim Vickery explains how Ronaldo Nazario was the face of football's globalisation.



Brazil-based journalist Tim Vickery joined The Football Show to discuss Ronaldo and Brazil.

For those born around 1995-2000 and since, the name Ronaldo means Cristiano Ronaldo.

But for those of us who are old enough to remember football in the 90s and football in the early 2000s, Ronaldo references R9. That's Brazil's Ronaldo. Maybe the greatest pure striker of all-time. Ronaldo was the biggest star in Brazil during his career, the biggest star in Europe and the lynchpin of Real Madrid, the biggest football team in the world.

He won the Ballon d'Or in 1997 and 2002. He also won the World Cup in 1994 and 2002, and dragged a relatively poor Brazil team to the final in 1998.

Ronaldo was the face of football at a time when football's popularity was expanding at an immeasurable rate. He was the biggest player in the World Cup when it became a television event. He was the biggest player in the Champions League when it became the biggest television event in football.

Tim Vickery explains what made Ronaldo special.

"In the entire history of football...I don't think there's ever been anyone faster and more powerful running with the ball," Vickery said.

"That's number one. Coupled with that extraordinary ability to slow down at the decisive moment. Slow down when he's going to finish. Eyes still. Picking his spot. It's power with coolness. That power with coolness also gave him the capacity to do the keeper."

Ronaldo scored 280 goals in 364 games over the course of an 18-year career. He played in different leagues across Europe but began and finished his career in Brazil. He scored 62 goals in 98 games for the Brazil national team, 15 of those goals came in 19 World Cup games.

"Ronaldo really was an extraordinary player. He is I think, the start of the globalisation of football. He's the one when the Champions League goes absolutely massive. When international football goes absolutely massive. When cable tv comes in as a big player, he's the poster boy for the game."

Cristiano Ronaldo may now force us to refer to Ronaldo as Ronaldo Nazario, but he'll never fully eclipse the former superstar.

Eddie Howe has no shame.

 

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