If you are a soccer fan, you know the most dynamic player of the past twenty years, has been a gap-toothed Brazilian who hailed from a favela in Rio and goes by the single name Ronaldo.Fans around the world will remember Ronaldo’s first significant injury, while making one of his signature, freight-train runs towards goal while playing for Inter Milan. Just outside of the opponent’s goal box, just as Ronaldo was completing his patented step-over move, just as he was preparing to humiliate yet another defender, his knee essentially exploded. The soccer world gasped in horror as the image was played over and over again. We have never recovered. Nor did Ronaldo. Ronaldo in his prime was unstoppable and undeniably fun to watch. Both on and off the pitch, he was bigger than life. He was a rock star. He could party all night, and play all day. The only thing that stopped him in the end was his own body.
In announcing his retirement, he told the world that he felt like he was experiencing his “first death”. For all of the soccer fans around the world who use to delight in watching him play, we know what he means, sort of. Our “first death” was watching him fall to the ground in tears while wearing the Inter shirt. Our “second death” happened on Monday.
He will be missed, but never forgotten.