Ronaldo enjoyed his first contact with Corinthians fans and said he was
impressed with the reception he received from the stadium crowd on Saturday.
Ronaldo, not quite recovered from a serious knee injury almost a year ago, was
introduced to fans along with the rest of Corinthians’ players before a friendly
against Argentina’s Estudiantes at Pacaembu Stadium.
Wearing the team’s uniform, he was loudly cheered by the fans when he entered
the field, and said he was moved by their reaction when his name was announced.
“I’m loving this,” Ronaldo told Globo TV. “This crowd is incredible, I’m excited
and very impressed.”
Corinthians is Brazil’s second most popular club, behind Flamengo.
“Here the crowd is different from Europe, where the fans only cheer if there’s a
nice play or an important play,” Ronaldo said. “Here they keep chanting even if
the ball is near midfield.”
Corinthians won Saturday’s season-opener 5-1 behind a pair of goals of another
recently signed striker, former Vasco player Jorge Henrique. Estudiantes got on
the board with Mauricio Carrasco.
The Brazilian club signed Ronaldo late last year and hoped to have him for the
team’s opener against Estudiantes, but his debut may not be until late March.
“I still need to lose a few kilograms (pounds),” he said. “But I’m anxious to
get on the field. Hopefully it will happen soon.”
Corinthians’ first official match will be on Wednesday against Barueri in the
Sao Paulo state championship.
Ronaldo was officially introduced at the club on Dec. 12. He has been out of
action since injuring his left knee in an Italian league match with AC Milan
He said that a good performance with Corinthians will keep alive his hopes of
returning to play for Brazil, which he helped win two World Cups in 1994 and
“If I play well, the doors to the national team will always be open,” Ronaldo
A four-time national champion, Corinthians will return to the Brazilian league’s
top flight in 2009 after spending a year in the second division.