Ronaldo Might Unretire, Join Fort Lauderdale Strikers As Player-Owner


Jan 15, 2015

Ronaldo is itching to score again.

The 38-year-old announced Wednesday that he might return to professional soccer in 2015 with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League (United States’ second division).

Ronaldo, who recently joined the Strikers’ ownership group, told Sports Illustrated on Tuesday that he plans to practice with the team first. If all goes well behind the scenes, Ronaldo might lace up his cleats as a pro for the first time since he stopped playing in 2011.

“I will try to play some games,” Ronaldo said. “This year, I want to train a lot. The last three years I didn’t because I was too busy in other stuff. … Maybe if we get to the final and I’m feeling good, why not? I will put my name in the NASL as an option.”

Ronaldo elaborated on his comeback plans Wednesday at a news conference in which the Strikers unveiled him as a co-owner.

“I love to play,” Ronaldo said. “That was my big love. But when I retired, it was because of my body. I had so much pain and so many injuries. It isn’t easy to get fit. I will try. I will train a lot.”

Ronaldo won FIFA’s Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2002. His legendary career ended in February 2011 after he played for Brazilian giant Corinthians for a short time.

After retiring, Ronaldo purchased a stake in marketing agency 9ine Sports and Entertainment, which represents Neymar and mixed martial arts fighter Anderson Silva. Ronaldo also served on the organizing committee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and as a commentator for Brazil’s TV Globo.

The NASL’s Spring Championship begins April 4 and ends June 13.

Thumbnail photo via Alan Diza/The Associated Press

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