Ronaldo hopes for Rio comeback

October 28th, 2008 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Oct 28 (DPA) Brazilian football superstar Ronaldo said he wants to make his comeback from injury at his hometown club Flamengo Rio de Janeiro next year.”If everything works out, I’d like to play there,” the 32-year-old who has been on the bench for more than eight months said Monday night on a sports talk show on Brazilian television.

“Flamengo is in pole position,” said Ronaldo, who added that he has also received interest from European clubs Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain. “But Flamengo is my dream.”

Ronaldo, however, did not rule out hanging up his football shoes in 2009.

“If I don’t feel fit enough to play well, then it’s a possibility,” he said, admitting he feared being booed by fans at Maracana Stadium.

“I don’t want Flamengo to take me as a favour,” said the 15th highest World Cup scorer of all time. “I do not want to enter the Maracana and play badly.”

However, Ronaldo said he hasn’t given up the hope of returning to his old form and being called up to play once again for Brazil’s national team, of which he was a member of when it won World Cup championships in 1994 and 2002.

“At the moment, I am a wounded soldier, but I’m not dead,” he said.

For now,though,the soldier’s battle is with his weight because he’s been out of the fight since February and has put on some extra kilos.

“Being fat just won’t work,” he joked. “I hardly have any clothes that fit.”

He said he has already lost some weight and reduced his body fat from 16 to 14 per cent since he started training at the beginning of September with Flamengo. He said, however, that he still has a way to go: An average athlete has 11-per-cent body fat.

Ronaldo, one of three players to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times (in 1996, 1997 and 2002), ruptured a tendon in his left kneecap Feb 13 and has had to undergo surgery to repair it.

He made headlines during his convalescence in April when he had an argument with transvestite prostitutes at an hourly hotel in Rio and was questioned by the police about it.

Ronaldo has been unemployed since June 30 after AC Milan decided not to extend the contract of the injured striker.

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