Ronaldo keeps winning titles in Brazil

Four months into his remarkable return to football, Ronaldo is getting used to winning titles again.

updated: July 02, 2009 16:16 IST
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Sao Paulo:

Four months into his remarkable return to football, Ronaldo is getting used to winning titles again.

The veteran striker helped Corinthians clinch the Brazilian Cup on Wednesday, lifting his second trophy in a row since recovering from the third serious knee injury of his career.

Ronaldo had already won the traditional Sao Paulo state title with Corinthians in May, and Wednesday's win caps off the striker's successful comeback to competitive football.

"I have to be thankful. My return to football has really been fantastic," Ronaldo said. "I couldn't imagine things would happen like this."

Although he is yet to reach the form that made him a three-time world player of the year, Ronaldo has been key for Corinthians since debuting with the popular Brazilian club in March.

He has scored 11 goals, including decisive ones in the final of the Sao Paulo state championship and in the first leg of the Brazilian Cup final two weeks ago in Sao Paulo, when Corinthians won 2-0. Ronaldo didn't score Wednesday in the 2-2 draw in Porto Alegre, but set up the team's second goal.

"It was a great final," Ronaldo said. "This group showed a lot of strength, it deserved this titl.'

Th vctryads nohe topy o onld'slog is o triumps, which include the 1994 and 2002 World Cups with Brazil. He also was extremely successful at club level in Europe, winning trophies with PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Wednesday's victory also gave Corinthians a berth in next year's Copa Libertadores, Latin America's most important club competition and the team's main objective for next year. It could end up helping persuade Ronaldo to extend his contract with the club past the end of 2009.

"Lets see how it goes, but the tendency is to stay, I think we are headed that way," Ronaldo said.

Corinthians president Andre Sanches said it's very likely the 32-year-old star will remain at the club for 2010.

"Everything is going as planned," Sanches said. "So automatically, we are halfway through to adding another year to his contract. Ronaldo is happy to be playing with Corinthians and we are happy to have him here."

Ronaldo signed with Corinthians in December 2008 despite doubts he would never recover from the knee injury he sustained with AC Milan in February of that year.

Ronaldo has said one of his main objectives since returning from the injury is to regain his form and make the national team in time for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which would be his fifth.

If he decides to stay with Corinthians to play in the Copa Libertadores, his chances to impress coach Dunga may increase. Ronaldo has not been summoned since Brazil's elimination in the 2006 World Cup.

For now, though, Ronaldo and Corinthians will return their focus t te railanlegu, n hih hetem s ixh n he20tem stndings with 11 points from eight matches. Corinthians is trying to win its fifth Brazilian league title. It next faces Fluminense at Pacaembu stadium.