Keep going, don’t be discouraged: Brazil president to Ronaldo

February 16th, 2008 - 1:41 pm ICT by admin  

Brasilia, Feb 16 (DPA) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has encouraged star national striker Ronaldo to fight to return to top-level football when he recovers from a surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left knee. “Once again life has played a bad trick on him. It would appear that it is a test of his energy and his endurance capacity,” Lula said in an official statement Friday.

Ronaldo, 31, suffered an injury in his left knee during his club side AC Milan’s game against Livorno at Meazza stadium in Milan, Wednesday. He underwent a surgery Thursday in Paris to repair a complete tear of the rotula tendon on the knee, and he is expected to remain off the ground for at least nine months.

The Brazilian striker already underwent surgery for a similar injury on his right knee in 2000.

The Brazilian president said he was adding his voice to those of “millions of Brazilians” who share Ronaldo’s “pain, his sadness and his suffering”.

“I join those millions of Brazilians to tell him, ‘Boy, keep going, resist, don’t be discouraged. The endurance that God has given you to persevere, to insist and to get over all the obstacles is as strong as the pain and the disappointment’,” Lula said in his message to the striker.

Ronaldo’s father, Nelio Nazario, said his son will recover fully from the injury and had shut the mouths of those who foretell the end of his football career.

“They can say whatever they want, but he already faced something similar and he is going to get over this. I am calm. Ronaldo still has a lot to give to football and he is going to shut up a lot of people,” Nazario was quoted as saying Friday by the daily O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

Former Brazil national coach Mario Lobo Zagallo also expressed his confidence in Ronaldo’s recovery, and said the footballer is “a role model”.

“If Ronaldo’s objective is to keep on playing, I am certain that he will achieve it. Ronaldo turns into a giant when he faces extremely adverse situations. He already showed it more than once. He has a strength of will that is out of the ordinary,” said Zagallo.

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