Ronaldo set to announce retirement

Three-time World Player of the Year Ronaldo is reportedly set to announce his retirement from professional football on Monday.

The 34-year-old has endured a disappointing campaign with Brazilian club Corinthians and was blamed by supporters for the team’s exit from the Copa Libertadores last week.

Fans have damaged players’ cars and thrown rocks at the team bus, with the violence leading another former Brazil international Roberto Carlos to announce his intention to walk away from the club.

Ronaldo insisted the unrest would not force him to quit, but he has also struggled for fitness this season and is yet to score a goal in 2011.

“It’s time,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by newspaper Estado de S. Paulo.

“I can’t keep going. I wanted to continue but I can’t. I think about making a play but I can’t execute it.”

Corinthians have scheduled a press conference for Monday, where Ronaldo is expected to publicly confirm his retirement.

Voted the world player of the year in 1996, 1997 and 2002, Ronaldo scored 67 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil and won the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea.

He netted both goals in a 2-0 win over Germany in the final and remains the leading scorer in World Cup history.

Ronaldo also scored an extraordinary 47 goals in 49 games in all competitions for Barcelona in the 1996/97 season, before suffering the first of three serious knee injuries playing for Inter Milan in 1999.

A transfer to Real Madrid brought the only national league titles of his career in 2002/03 and 2006/07, but he never fully recaptured the devastating combination of pace, strength and skill that earned him the nickname ‘the phenomenon’ earlier in his career.