Volume 96, Issue 12
Wednesday September 18, 2002

Search the Archives:

HOME
PHOTO GALLERY

COMICS
SUBMIT LETTER
CONTESTS
ADVERTISING
VOLUNTEERS
ABOUT US
ARCHIVES
LINKS



Ronaldo in fine shape

MADRID (AP) – Brazilian soccer legend Pele thinks worries about Ronaldo's fitness are unfounded and he expects the star striker to be very successful at Real Madrid.

"He will score a lot of goals for Madrid. His performance at the World Cup will have cleared the doubts of those people who claimed that he was almost lame before the tournament started. He scored goals and was a really important player in the Brazilian team," Pele said, during a visit to the Spanish capital Monday.

Pele, considered by many to be the greatest player ever, added that Ronaldo's damaged right knee, which dogged his five-year spell at his previous club Inter Milan, would not prove a handicap.

"It's clear that he will have to be a little more cautious than before he suffered the knee injury, but his quality is obvious and there should be no doubts about him," Pele said.

Pele also defended Ronaldo, who joined Madrid for 45 million euros ($68.5 million CDN) earlier this month, from criticism that he had shown a lack of gratitude to Inter, who had paid his wages and supported him while he was sidelined for most of the last three years.

"I don't understand the criticism. A professional can decide to go where he wants. Ronaldo has decided to participate in the fiesta that is Spanish soccer, which for a long time has contracted the world's best players.

"In Brazil we'd love him to playing there, but unfortunately administration problems have prevented clubs from having the money to attract great players," Pele said.

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES

Contact The Sports Department

2002 THE GAZETTE