A Recent History of Ronaldos.
Followers of football in the past couple decades definitely know there was a prominent Ronaldo long before Cristiano CR7 came on the scene. Many would think that O Fenômeno was the original holder of the rights to that name. However, the Brazilian Ronaldo did not even originally bear the name Ronaldo on his shirt. Join us as we explore the phenomenon behind the ”Ronaldo” name.
When Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima first emerged at Cruzeiro and PSV Eindhoven there was already another Ronaldo in the Brazil squad named Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus. In typical Brazilian fashion of aggregating multiple names into one, a solution had to be found.
The older player in the squad became known as Ronaldão (Big Ronaldo) and the younger Ronaldo – the one who went to achieve greatness – became known as Ronaldinho. He kept that name for the 1996 Olympics, when he was in the squad alongside a third Ronaldo, the defender Ronaldo Guiaro. Ronaldinho at the 1996 Olympics inspired Brazil to the semis and with a 3-2 lead against Nigeria in place 5 minutes to the end, he was subbed off by his manager, Mario Zagallo That act proved to be an error as Nigeria came from behind to end Brazil’s quest for an Olympic gold medal.
That did not stop Ronald(inh)o’s star from rising rapidly and he went on to become arguably the greatest Number Nine the football world has ever known. However, he only became known as Ronaldo when Ronaldão and Ronaldo Guiaro stopped playing international football.
Just in time for a fourth Ronaldo to emerge: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, or Ronaldinho Gaúcho as we came to know him at PSG, Barcelona and Milan. He also went on to achieve fame and greatness while bringing a charming sense of fun to the beautiful game.
Thankfully, we have only one prominent Ronaldo currently playing nowadays. No further confusion involved, it is black and white. Fittingly so too, as he now plays in black and white.