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'R9' Ronaldo plays for Sunday League side in England and the footage is incredible

'R9' Ronaldo plays for Sunday League side in England and the footage is incredible

Ronaldo turned out for Phoenix FC, who sit bottom of the NWL Division 8 in Essex.

Fans and players alike watched on in awe as one of the all-time greats made a short, but memorable appearance for Sunday League side Phoenix FC.

On a cold morning in Essex, former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker Ronaldo Luís Nazario de Lima turned up at Henderson Sports and Social club in a white limousine.

Having been flown over to participate in the match by Paddy Power as part of their 'ultimate Super Sub' competition, the Brazilian would eventually turn out for Phoenix, who currently sit bottom of the NWL Division 8.

As you can see from the footage below, Ronaldo wasn't registered to play so manager Brian Edwards told him to use the name ‘Dave Walsh’ – just in case the official asked any questions.

He slowly made his way onto the muddy pitch at 4-0 down and, after performing a cheeky rabona from kick-off, 'O Fenomeno' was caught slacking in an offside position.

After speaking to someone on the phone, Ronaldo was hauled off for not tracking back. Still, it was a memorable occasion for those involved, including the Phoenix FC boss.

"The lads couldn’t believe it when Ronaldo showed up," Edwards said. "I hadn’t registered him so used the name ‘Dave Walsh’ and put him on the bench. Sadly, he was anything but a Super Sub.

"He was late by the time he got changed and we were already well behind by the time I could put him on, but it’s definitely a moment I’ll remember forever. The rest of his performance? Less memorable."

Those who featured in Sunday's clash proceeded to take selfies with Ronaldo from Phoenix FC's clubhouse. In fact, they even shared their experiences on social media after the NWL Division 8 clash.

One player wrote: "An honour to have been involved in this. Most surreal moment ever meeting the man himself," while another commented: "Easiest striker I've marked."

A third fan said: "I cannot stress how much I was not expecting to actually see Ronaldo," and a fourth added: "I think this is one of the best adverts I've ever seen. Whoever pulled this off is a genius."

Image credit: Paddy Power
Image credit: Paddy Power

Ronaldo's cameo was part of a scripted video released by Paddy Power to launch their new betting feature Super Sub, which transfers bets when a player is subbed off.

A spokesman said: "They say form is temporary but, having seen him in the flesh, Ronaldo’s post-retirement form does now seem pretty permanent. It happens to us all, R9."

Featured Image Credit: X/Paddy Power

Topics: Barcelona, Brazil, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Ronaldo Nazario, Spotlight