Video Shows How Incredible 'R9' Ronaldo Was Before Turning 21
There's a reason why he was given the nickname "Fenômeno" by fans of the beautiful game.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima introduced himself with 115 goals in 134 games between 1994 and 1999, with 42 of those goals coming from a brief, but brilliant two-year spell with PSV Eindhoven.
A generation of football fans had never witnessed such a talent, especially at such a young age.
By the age of 23, he had scored over 200 goals for club and country, breaking the world transfer record twice.
The Brazilian forward could do it all. From dribbling at high speeds to providing his teammates with an inch perfect pass, Ronaldo was a 'once in a lifetime' footballer.
This video of 'incredible things he did before the age of 21' will make you realise just how good he was.
Brazilian Ronaldo before the age of 21 was really something else :heart_eyes:https://t.co/2iqdU8dPIK
- TheFootballAddick (@FootballAddick) October 16, 2019
Unfortunately for the former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker, he suffered a catalogue of serious knee injuries in what many would consider a footballers prime years.
It would arguably stop him from fulfilling his true, record breaking potential.
Ronaldo would spend years on the sidelines recovering from knee troubles, most notably in the late 90's and early 00's.
One particular serious injury in the 1999/2000 season meant that his career subsided somewhat, but months later, many believed he had finally recovered ahead of a game against Lazio.
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But a complete rupture to the knee tendon ruled him out for another 15 months. It was a bitter blow.
Despite his injury woes, many people speak so highly of R9, including Jose Mourinho, who believes he is the best player he's ever seen.
"Ronaldo, El Fenomeno, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers, they have remained at the top every day for 15 years." he said.
"However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo [Nazario].
"When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I'd ever seen take to the field.
"Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible.
"In 1997, Barcelona played against PSG in Rotterdam and Ronaldo's goal, 1-0. Awesome."
Do you think the Brazilian Ronaldo is one of the greatest ever?
Let us know in the comments.