Back home, Ronaldo is doing all he can to help Brazil win a sixth World Cup.
Watching the tournament on TV for the first time in his career, the former striker is hoping to cheer up the Brazilian players in South Africa. He uses his Twitter account to comment on the national team, and sends messages of support to the squad.
“My friends, 16 years ago, I felt what you are feeling now,” Ronaldo wrote. “It was the first of my four World Cups, and even though I was on the bench, it was a great thrill.”
Ronaldo missed out on his fifth World Cup team after a lackluster season with Brazilian club Corinthians. He successfully recovered from the third serious injury of his career last year and was playing well enough, but a series of minor injuries recently kept him from excelling.
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“Even from far away,” Ronaldo said in his message. “I’m there with you. You can put another star in our jersey.”
Ronaldo, the all-time leading scorer in World Cups with 15 goals, was one of the Brazilians who struggled four years ago when Brazil lost to France in the quarterfinals in Germany, 1-0.
“In 2006, a goal put an end to our dream of winning the title for the sixth time,” the 33-year-old Ronaldo said. “But now you are there, you have the chance now.”
In the text on his Twitter page, which is sponsored by a cell phone operator, Ronaldo praised his former teammates on the national team. He called Kaka a “genius,” asked Robinho to keep dribbling past his defenders, and told Luis Fabiano that he earned the No. 9 jersey Ronaldo once wore.
Arjen Robben has been ruled out of the Netherlands opening World Cup game against Denmark, after flying in to join his teammates six days late because of a hamstring injury. Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk said Saturday it was too risky for the winger to play at Soccer City on Monday. … Forward David Suazo says he hopes to play in Honduras’ World Cup opener Wednesday against Chile. One of the keys to the Honduran offense, Suazo has a right leg injury that has sidelined him for training. He has not received medical clearance to get back on the field.
ON GREEN’S GAFFE
Poor Robert Green. The English keeper will never forget his blunder that allowed the U.S. to earn a tie.
Even if he were able to, the British press is unlikely to allow him the privilege.
Phil McNulty, the BBC’s chief football writer, wrote: “England keeper Robert Green will take a long time to live down somehow allowing Clint Dempsey’s shot to go in. Forget the new World Cup footballs – that was simply a horrendous piece of goalkeeping.”
Reuters called Green’s gaffe “a shocking schoolboy howler.”