This day in history of Ronaldo
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Ticker) - Brazilian soccer star Rivaldo on Saturday terminated his contract with Cruzeiro to protest the firing of coach Vanderley Luxemburgo.
The 31-year-old midfielder played just 11 matches with Cruzeiro, the Brazilian champions, after coming over in a blockbuster transfer from Italian power AC Milan, where he had fallen out of favor.
Rivaldo, who helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup, scored two goals for Cruzeiro. Luxembergo was fired Friday.
"After Luxemburgo was sacked, I didn't sleep, thinking about the decision I should take," Rivaldo said. "And I preferred to leave, too. I was loyal to the coach who brought me here."
No clear explanation was given for Luxemburgo's firing, although there were rumors of dissent within the club.
Rivaldo denied any turmoil in the dressing room.
"The squad behaved really well with me," he said. "If someone has any trouble with me, I don't know about it.
"Despite the success I had in my career and the many championships I won, I keep being the same person and I treat everybody the same, no matter if he's young or a star."
The midfielder also complained about the criticism he received from fans.
"A player should be evaluated at the end of the tournament, not at the beginning, with only a few matches," Rivaldo said. "I was calm, happy and improving slowly."
Rivaldo denied receiving an offer from another team.