Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo to retire

Sao Paulo, Feb 14 (AFP) Brazilian football legendRonaldo, who helped his country to two World Cup trophies andis still the tournament''s top scorer, is to retire, Brazilianmedia reported.

"I can''t take any more," the 34-year-old star told theEstado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

"I wanted to continue, but I can''t do it any more. Ithink of an action, but I can''t do it the way I want to. It''stime.

"It''s the body that''s hurting me," he told Globotelevision. "The head wants to go on, but the body can''t takeany more."

Ronaldo had already spoken in terms of retiring at theend of the year.

But a succession of injuries and the elimination of hisclub, Corinthians, from the Copa Libertadores, South America''smost prestigious club tournament, appears to have pushed thedate forward.

The Copa trophy, the equivalent of Europe''s ChampionsLeague trophy, was the only one Ronaldo had not won in whathas been a spectacular career.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of alltime, the player known as ''El Fenomeno'' during his prime hadheld out hopes of one last World Cup in South Africa lastyear.

He had, after all, shrugged off injury in the 2002tournament to help Brazil to the trophy, ending the tournamentas top scorer on 15 goals, a total that has not yet beenbettered.

In the end though, he had to accept that his injuries andlack of match fitness had ruled him out.

Ronaldo had already fought back to fitness from threecareer-threatening injuries.

Along the way he picked up a string of honours, includingthe FIFA Player of the Year three times: in 1996, 1997 and2002. MORE (AFP) CM

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