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Ronaldo Nazario Suffered One Of Football's Most Horrific Injuries 20 Years Ago Today

Ronaldo Nazario Suffered One Of Football's Most Horrific Injuries 20 Years Ago Today

It's 20 years today since Ronaldo Nazario suffered a horrific knee injury which has gone down as one of football's most heartbreaking moments.

'El Fenomeno' saw his career ravaged by injuries and it was the one he suffered on back in the year 2000 that changed his career forever.

The Brazilian came off the bench for Inter Milan against Lazio in the Coppa Italia and attempted one of his trademark darting runs.

However, he attempted a stepover while dribbling with the ball and collapsed to the turf in pain.

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It was Ronaldo's first game back after a five month injury lay-off due to a ruptured tendon in his knee.

This injury turned out to be even more severe, completely tearing his kneecap tendon.

Inter and Lazio players alike could be seen rushing to Ronaldo's aide as he shouted out in pain.

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He was stretchered off with his head in his hands as the entire Stadio Olimpico rose to their feet to applaud the Ballon d'Or winner.

His former physiotherapist discussed the injury with FourFourTwo in 2018 and he stated it was 'the worst football injury' he's ever seen.

"If I showed you the photos I have from this case you wouldn't believe it," Nilton Petrone explained.

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"Right after the surgery his knee was the size of a football ball. There were three or four tubes draining the blood, it was something unbelievable. We had a few moments at the hospital when he was crying because he wanted morphine to stop the intensity of pain.

"One day in the middle of the night he called me and asked: 'Tell me I am going to be able to play football again, please don't lie to me'. I was there, at the beginning of a rehabilitation when the whole world was saying that he wouldn't be able to. The science said it was unlikely and the doctors had doubts."

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Ronaldo wouldn't return to action until September 2001 and although he recaptured his brilliant form, he had lost the explosiveness that announced him to the world.

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One fan commented: "Even 20 years later, falling and screaming Ronaldo still breaks my heart..."

While a second wrote: "He's still the best player I have ever seen. I can only imagine what he could have been without injuries."

A third simply stated: "This is one of the saddest moments in football history."

It's a testament to the talents of 'R9' that he won so much in his career, yet many fans believe he never truly fulfilled his potential.

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Featured Image Credit: ronaldogodmagic/YouTube

Topics: Ronaldo Nazario, Football News, Lazio, Football, Ronaldo, Legends, Inter Milan

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Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.