Brazilian football legend Ronaldo has announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect.
The 34-year-old Corinthians striker said on Sunday he was quitting, citing fitness concerns as the reason.
He was recently, along with his former Brazil teammate Roberto Carlos, the subject of scorn from Corinthians supporters after the club’s early exit from the Copa Libertadores at the hands of Deportes Tolima.
Carlos announced on Saturday he had accepted a move to Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala.
Ronaldo, however, announced his retirement on Sunday after a glittering 17-year professional career with stints at clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan.
He won three FIFA World Player of the Year awards, and helped Brazil to the 2002 World Cup, along the way setting the record for most career goals at the tournament with 15.
He was also part of the Brazilian squad that claimed the 1994 World Cup as a 17-year-old, but did not play, and eventually went on to score 62 goals from 97 international caps.
Three times he was cut down by career-threatening knee injuries, first in 1999 while at Inter, and after injuring the same knee in his comeback he was sidelined until 2002.
He suffered another serious knee injury in 2008 while at AC Milan, which ended his time in Italy, and he signed for Corinthians in December 2009, but now it seems as though a career battling injury has finally caught up with the marksman.
“I can’t take any more,” he told the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.
“I wanted to continue, but I can’t do it anymore. I think of an action, but I can’t do it the way I want to – it’s time.”
“It’s the body that’s hurting me. The head wants to go on, but the body can’t take any more.”