Ronaldo’s Corinthians win Sao Paulo state championship

May 4th, 2009 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Sao Paulo, May 4 (DPA) The Corinthians, with veteran striker Ronaldo as their main star, have won the Sao Paulo state football championship.
“Timao”, as the Corinthians are known, were unbeaten in the tournament and drew 1-1 Sunday against Santos. They would have won the championship even with a Sunday defeat, provided that they did not lose by more than two goals.

“The goal for the rest of the year is to win the Brazilian Cup and the Brazilian Championship. We have to stay in this line of play and win everything,” Ronaldo said at the end of the game.

At Pacaembu stadium, Kleber Pereira opened the score for Santos from the spot in the 28th minute. Santos continued to dominate the game after that and had several good chances.

However, the Corinthians remained calm and equalised through Andre Santos five minutes later.

Ronaldo, 32, was in the Corinthians’ attack, but he was well-covered by Domingos. There was tension between the two men, and the Santos defender was sent off in the second half.

Ronaldo - FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2002 - returned to Brazil this year, after 14 seasons in European football, with PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Milan.

When he joined the Corinthians, Ronaldo was overweight and out of form after a 13-month absence because of a knee injury. However, in ten games with the Brazilian club he scored eight goals and showed that he is still a force to be reckoned with. The title, Ronaldo noted, “is a reward for all the work”.

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