Ronaldo Nazario is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in the sport’s history. He has set as well as broken numerous records and has won two Ballon d’Or awards. To add to the glory, he has also collected three FIFA World Player of the Year awards during his career.
While he is now simply known as Ronaldo by fans all over the world, he was once known as Ronaldinho and wore the moniker on the back of his shirt during the start of his international career.
He is widely known by the name Ronaldo by football fans all around the world. However, he was once known as Ronaldinho and wore the name on the back of his shirt during the beginning stage of his international career.
This was due to the fact that his older World Cup teammate, Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus, was also known as Ronaldo and was nicknamed ‘Ronaldao’ (which means big Ronaldo). When the real Ronaldinho first joined the Brazil team, he had to go by the nickname ‘Ronaldinho Gaucho’ to avoid being confused with R9.
El Fenomeno eventually became the eldest Ronaldo and restored his original name, but Ronaldo also went by the nickname ‘Ronaldinho’ at the 1996 Olympics because another teammate, Ronaldo Guiaro, was two years his senior. Brazil was placed in a group alongside Japan, Hungary, and Nigeria, the dark horses.
In a 3-1 triumph over Hungary, Ronaldo scored Brazil’s first goal of the tournament, with Juninho and Bebeto also scoring. Then, in the last group game against Nigeria, Ronaldo scored a goal from outside the box to give his team a 1-0 victory. The 19-year-old took centre stage once more in their quarter-final against Ghana, scoring a brace in a 4-2 victory.
Despite the fact that that was not his true name, he did not allow it stop him from scoring five goals in the Olympics, including a winner against Nigeria in the Group Stage to send the South Americans through and lead them to bronze.