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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of July 6, 2007.2 National team caps and goals correctas of July 1, 2006.* Appearances (Goals)

Ronaldo was born in Bento Ribeiro, a poor neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Like many of his friends, he began to play football in the streets of his neighborhood. Ronaldo's actual date of birth is September 18, 1976, however, his father did not register his birth certificate until September 22, 1976 so some discrepancy has existed as to his actual birth date.

Ronaldo scored 12 goals in 13 games in the Brazilian National Championship, and in the Minas Gerais State Championship he scored all three goals in Cruzeiro's 3-1 victory against arch-rival Atlético Mineiro. After being scouted by Piet de Visser, he was soon transferred for US$6 million to PSV Eindhoven, where he scored 42 goals in 46 league games and reached a total of 55 goals in 57 official appearances. Later he attracted the attention of Spain's FC Barcelona. He played for Barça in the 1996-97 season, scoring 47 in 49 (including appearances in the Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners Cup) on the way to leading the Catalan side to UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph (where he capped the season with the winning goal in the cup final itself). Inter Milan swooped to sign him the following year, and Ronaldo duly helped them repeat his former side's cup-winning run, this time in the UEFA Cup. As of 2006, Ronaldo is the last player to score more than 30 goals in 1 season in the Spanish La Liga.

On 21 November 1999, during a Serie A match against Lecce, Ronaldo felt his knee buckle and was forced to limp off the pitch. Medical exams after the match confirmed that the striker had ruptured a tendon in his right knee and would require surgery. During his first comeback on April 12, 2000, he played only seven minutes during the first leg of the coppa italia final against Lazio before injuring his knee for a second time.

Ronaldo was such a well-known signing that sales of his shirt on the day of his signing alone broke all records the world over. Proof of his fame came with the fact that even though Ronaldo was sidelined through injury until October 2002, fans continued to chant his name in the stands. Ronaldo scored twice in his debut for Real Madrid. That same reception was observed on the night of the final game of the season against Athletic Bilbao, where Ronaldo scored again to seal his first season with 23 league goals (not including the goals in the UEFA Champions League that included a hat-trick away at Manchester United - in which Real Madrid still lost 4-3 away but proceeded 6-5 on aggregate.) and the La Liga Championship title for 2003, which Ronaldo had previously failed to win whilst at FC Barcelona.

Following the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo had surgery on July 16, 2006, to remove calcifications from his left tibia.

Ronaldo became a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador in 2000. "No one should be doomed to a life of poverty, whether by birth or as a consequence of war", Ronaldo said.


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