Outraged Flamengo fans burn shirts of Brazilian football icon RonaldoDecember 11th, 2008 - 2:24 pm ICT by ANI
London, Dec.11 (ANI): Brazilian striker Ronaldo has been labeled a Phenomenal Traitor by Flamengo faithful following news that three-time Fifa player of the year, is going to arch-rivals Corinthians.
The headline has been splashed across the Rio de Janeiro sports daily Lance yesterday, a day after the player nicknamed ”the phenomenon” and scorer of more World Cup goals than any other man decided to join Corinthians.
Ronaldo’’s decision to join a Sao Paulo club was a slap in the face, compounded by the fact that he has been recuperating and training with the Flamengo squad for four months since a major knee injury while playing for AC Milan in February put him out of action.
Each day Ronaldo trained at Flamengo Brazil’’s most popular club fans would line the chain-link fence surrounding the practice pitch, many wearing shirts with “Stay Ronaldo” emblazoned upon them.
On Tuesday, when news broke the 32-year-old striker had chosen Corinthians, those shirts and Ronaldo jerseys from various teams he has played for were burned by angry fans outside the club’’s headquarters.
Ronaldo said he understood the anger, but that only Corinthians had offered him a contract.
“I understand perfectly I”m openly a Flamengo fan. But I was training with Flamengo for four months and didn”t receive any offer. Corinthians made an offer that will let me continue my career,” the Scotsman quoted him, as saying.
Flamengo officials said they were the last to know.
“I was surprised by the news,” said Marcio Braga, president of Flamengo.
Braga acknowledged that Flamengo had not offered up a contract, but said they did not want to extend one to an injured player, as “he would be too anxious to play” before fully recovering. (ANI)
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Tags: ac milan, angry fans, arch rivals, brazilian football, chain link fence, club fans, corinthians, football icon, four months, knee injury, popular club, practice pitch, rio de janeiro, ronaldo, sao paulo club, scorer, slap in the face, striker, those shirts, world cup goals