Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Nazario gets baptised

A spiritual plunge for one of the greatest players in history

Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Luís Nazario da Lima – nicknamed Il Fenomeno, ‘the Phenomenon’ – has taken a step forward in his life of faith. Ronaldo was baptised last week at São José (St Joseph) Parish in São Paulo, Brazil.

“Today is a very special day. I was baptised,” Ronaldo posted on social media after the ceremony.

“The Christian faith has always been a fundamental part of my life, since I was little, although I had not yet been baptised,” he told his 29.5 million Instagram followers. “With the sacrament I feel truly regenerated as a child of God, in a new, more conscious and deeper way.”

Ronaldo wrote that he had renewed his commitment to “follow the path of good, by my own free will, believing in the love of Jesus, in compassionate love.”


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While Christiano Ronaldo is currently the more famous of the two, the original Ronaldo also owns one of the greatest resumes in the history of football.

At 20 years old, Ronaldo Nazario joined FC Barcelona for a world record transfer fee, then became the youngest player ever to win the FIFA World Player of the Year. The following year, Inter Milan broke the same world record fee to sign Ronaldo, where the 21-year-old became the youngest player ever to win the Ballon d’Or award for best player in Europe.

Ronaldo was also the youngest member of the Brazilian national team that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He went on to win Player of the Tournament in the 1998 World Cup, but lost the final, suffering a convulsive fit hours before kick-off.

Ronaldo earned the Golden Boot for Player of the Tournament in a second World Cup victory in 2002, along with a La Liga title playing for Real Madrid, another Ballon d’Or, his second of three World Player of the Year awards and the Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year.

While Ronaldo’s career was interrupted and ultimately cut short by injuries, the Brazilian superstar earned a spot in the all-time XI published by France Football magazine, cementing his status as the greatest player ever at his position.

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