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From the apocryphal gospel of Luis Nazario da Lima Ronaldo

Milan, 27 July 1997. A flood of fervent Nerazzurri religious beliefs, braving the illegal heat, blocked via Durini under the Inter headquarters. Everyone rushed to pay homage to Luis Nazario from Lima Ronaldo, the one who was forever rewriting the commandments of modern football. Suddenly, from a small balcony, a shape emerged whose contours were illuminated by the rays of the beating sun. He had the colors, features and the bare skull of a Tibetan monk, the incisors particularly stretched to introduce a bright smile, a left earring and a plaid shirt worn casually, surely to confuse the faithful as to which his really was. mission. A bonze disguised as a forester.

“Dadado” Luis Nazario from Lima

In the days the information went lightly from mouth to mouth and that joyful speck took more and more the features of a Homeric hero. He was born on 22 September 1976 in Sao Bento Ribeiro at 114, rua General Cesar Obino, a poor neighborhood in the north of Rio De Janeiro. Ronaldo's father Nelio was almost never there. He had married Mrs. Sonia but the royal companion was a bottle of cachaça. It was his mother who chose the name Ronaldo in honor of the handsome doctor who gave him birth. Our "Dadado", as her little brother Nelinho had called him, unable to pronounce her name, has the same warm and soothing laugh.
It was her first coach and Pygmalion Jairzinho who sniffed out her boundless qualities to the fustal, where he was born a goalkeeper, to deploy him as a striker in the eleven of São Cristovão. There, still today, in the central field the words "Aqui natou o Fenomeno" stand out. Here the Phenomenon was born.

The Phenomenon

In a short time, “Dadado” became “O Fenomeno”, thanks also to the transfer to the Cruzeiro which transformed it into a perfect mechanism. The surgical acrobatics of the movements with both feet was one of the most precious legacies that football has left to Ronaldo. The Brazilian was also able to build an out of the ordinary muscular structure around his temple, combined with the ability to accelerate up to 30 km / h while taking care of the particular. These qualities have not gone unnoticed in the eyes of Inter and PSV. Precisely the latter managed to conquer the delights of the young Ronaldo, fresh world champion in the USA '94.

Luis Nazario from Lima Ronaldo, Eindhoven: quads, goals, quads

Orchestrating the transfer of 1994 to Brabant were two talented carioca bankers: Alexander Martins and Rinaldo Pitta. "The cat and the fox" was their pseudonym due to the numerous crimes committed in his career, including imprisonment, despite this they accompanied Ronaldo for most of his career.
Eindhoven had been recommended to the Phenomenon by Romario as the only source to which the Brazilian tip had to drink to aspire to be the best. The unknown language, the freezing cold of the Netherlands and a city that was anything but dissolute immediately grayed the sky of Ronnie's sunny heart. Day after day, the Brazilian has learned to marry technique with the tactical intelligence of European football. All of which allowed him to score 55 goals in 56 games while acquiring the fundamentals without the pressures he would have had anywhere else on the continent. Furthermore, Europe was experiencing agitated moments due to the recent end of the Cold War and the "Clean Hands" investigation which was rewriting the fate of Italy, the orphan of its Prime Minister Craxi who fled to Hammamet. Meanwhile, Ronaldo's physical structure grew in direct proportion to his talent and, also due to this sudden increase in size, his body showed the first cracks causing pain in the tendons and ligaments of his right knee whose quadriceps were too developed.

From the letter of Luis Nazario da Lima apostle

The myth of Ronaldo was going beyond the Dutch borders by forcefully entering the homes of football lovers. By now Eindhoven was an evangelized land, he had to catechize other shores. Inter had once again approached the Phenomenon by exploiting the right of first refusal following the sale of Jonk, but doubts about Luis Nazario's already precarious athletic performance have called into question the success of the deal. So much so that PSV sold him to Barcelona for 30 billion pesetas.
Here the Phenomenon has become the prototype of the third millennium footballer. His deeds were worthy of an apocryphal gospel: in an amen he sprinted, dribbled and scored everywhere.All with always surprising refinement and resoluteness worthy of Georges Bizet's habanera of Carmen.

In the “blaugrana” jersey, the 1996-1997 season was a winner in every respect. Cup Winners' Cup, Spanish Cup and the title of “Pichichi” (top scorer) are some of the prizes won by Ronaldo and his team. All this without fearing the Brazilian's hypertrophic thighs, now more and more pampered as they were the reservoirs of his power, as well as his Achilles heel. The goal against Compostela on 12 October 1996 allowed Ronnie to take off the role of a futuristic champion to wear those of a soccer champion. It was one of the most authoritative statements of physical and technical supremacy ever seen on a football field. "To stop him we should shoot him": therefore Miguel Lotina was right. At the end of the season there were 34 goals in 37 games. And if the relationship with the fans was excellent, the one with President Nuñez was very bad. Reason enough to leave. Barcelona no longer deserved a messiah like him.

Love her Phenomenon, love her!

Between the two litigants, Inter again entered, ready, after two unfinished courtships, to sink the blow. And so, in the summer of 1997 there were many pretenders to the role of Nerazzurri center forward, from Inzaghi to Bierhoff up to Batistuta . But in the end, on 20 June 1997, thanks to a blitz by the then Nerazzurri ds Mazzola, Ronaldo signed for the Nerazzurri and not for Lazio, which had stubbornly entered the negotiations. Staggering figures: 48 billion for the Catalans, six and a half billion lire a year for the player. Ronaldo has become a name that served as a declaration of intent, always reinforced by the phrase: "the Phenomenon, the real one". An extraterrestrial returning from the future to dictate the new laws of the football that will be, thanks also to the Golden Ball just won. Unfortunately, the Serie A at the end of the 90s did not fill the eyes with divine light and spectacular games, but with tactics aimed at an ugly, dirty and bad football that did not go well with the greatest interpreter of the matter in the world. Despite this, the Brazilian has catechized the world of football, becoming the leader of a team of extraordinary followers led by goals and superfine touches towards the 1998 Scudetto. of some unforgivable missteps and of that result still discussed against Juventus.

“I feel robbed”

On April 26, 1998 he entered the history of football almanacs for what he represented and for the consequent controversies also in Parliament. At the "Stadio delle Alpi" Juventus showed up with a two-point lead from Inter four days from the end of the championship and with an athletic performance superior to their rivals. After the Juventus advantage with Del Piero, the visiting team took the chair, entrusting the usual Luis Nazario from Lima Ronaldo with the hopes of a comeback. On a lightning restart from the Nerazzurri Iuliano landed the Phenomenon in the area with one of the most classic obstruction fouls. Referee Ceccarini considered it inappropriate to call him such and therefore did not call a penalty. At the end of the game, Juventus climbed to five points behind the Nerazzurri, sailing towards the Italian flag. For Ronnie it was the first big disappointment. “I feel robbed. Football is fun if you play 11 against 11, not 11 against 12. But the world has seen and this will remain in history ”. Fortunately, winning the Uefa Cup against Lazio a few days later will sweeten the bitter Nerazzurri cup.

The conclave: when France '98 did not elect the Phenomenon

Ronaldo entered the 1998 World Cup in France, where a few weeks earlier he had raised a cup as a protagonist, with the universal certainty of winning it without sweating too much. I never believe he has been more subverted. Luis Nazario joined the world football conclave as Pope and was released a deacon, not even a cardinal. It was a brand on which the media interest was spasmodic, uncontrolled and whose actions and intentions were given a weight disproportionate to his age. All of this, over the years, has contributed to wearing down the solid foundations of his temple. That event returned a Ronaldo transformed in physical and in spirit forever. The real phenomenon died on the evening of 12 July 1998. Yes, because, a few hours before the final against France, the Brazilian still had an indefinite crisis that led him to a state of coma such that he was unable to define if he was still alive. A real tsunami for the football religion equal to the death of Lucio Battisti, God of Italian pop music, on 9 September.What is certain is that the career of the late Dadado, despite the equally decisive injuries suffered, was nevertheless extraordinary. In fact, it boasts numbers that exceed the human limit but that have no longer had, since that night, the characteristics of the alien So much so that his path is, at times, unfinished.

The collapse of the temple

Destiny, which Ronaldo had dribbled for years, presented him with the bill in the following nine months. First with the injury of the patellar tendon in November 1999, during Inter - Lecce. Then in April 2000 when against Lazio the poisoned arrow of fate completely broke the tendons of his knee. “It's a difficult world… it's a busy life. Happiness at moments, and an uncertain future ... ", never verses have proved more appropriate than those that Tonino Carotone sang at that time in his" Me cago en el amor ". Ronnie only returned in September 2001, a few days before the tragedy of the World Trade Center in New York consigned to the world the consciousness of the contingent, of the ephemeral, of fragility. Moratti waited for Ronnie, treating him like a son and building around him a rose of superior quality every year. This is to no longer force him to work overtime, but only to have fun. Among the many, the purchases of Roberto Baggio in 1998 and of Christian Vieri in 1999. They should have led Inter to imperishable triumphs. Unfortunately, the three together have played few remnants of matches. The echoes of how many cups they could have won together are still wasted in Milanese bars.

“There won't be another love”

May 5, 2002 is the date engraved on the plaque that marked the epilogue of the Nerazzurri love story for Ronaldo. The disastrous 4-2 for Lazio was fatal with the flag that, once again, swerved at the tollbooth towards Turin. The Biancocelesti marked three focal moments for the "Phenomenon": the peak, the collapse and the farewell.
After the World Cups in Korea and Japan won as a protagonist with Brazil, the fuse of an explosive controversy has ignited between Cuper and Luis Nazario from Lima Ronaldo, a green-gold campeão who refused to be one among many. He who wanted to be the first. So Massimo Moratti, cornered by his protégé, chose to keep the coach, thus leaving “Ronnie” to leave for 52 million euros towards Real Madrid. In Spain he then won and scored a lot but his smile, from season to season, lost its luster almost as if he had been lost in search of happiness. No "there won't be another love" like this, paraphrasing the lines of success that Gino Paoli sang on the CDs of the time.

Obrigado Phenomenon

Like a Homeric demigod Ronaldo was epic, both in triumphs and in falls. He won everything, thrilled the fans across the globe by spreading a religion of one belief for all. Luis Nazario da Lima Ronaldo, like Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, has always gone out to meet the world with open arms. So much so as to make it an exultation and a representation of what he represented for large parts, with extreme humility, for the footballing faith. Today we benefit from many other preachers and Gods of "Eupalla", but the light pure and devoid of artifice of the "Phenomenon, the real one" has no worthy heirs. After all, he was right: "You become good not so much for talent or money, but for hunger and love for what you do". Obrigado Phenomenon!

Thanks to the pen of CasaBaggio .

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