Ronaldo (Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima), 1976–, Brazilian soccer player. A son of Rio de Janeiro's back streets, he signed with his first professional club at 14. Nicknamed “The Phenomenon,” the talented forward/striker played for Brazil's Cruzeiro (1993–94), the Netherlands' Eindhoven (1994–96), Barcelona (1996–97), Inter Milan (1997–2002), Real Madrid (2002–7), AC Milan (2007–8), and Brazil's Corinthians (2009–11), amassing numerous records, championships, and cups. An international superstar, he was part of Brazil's World Cup–winning teams in 1998 and in 2002, when he was the tournament's top scorer. His career was marked by severe knee injuries (1999, 2000) and striking comebacks; he was twice named European footballer of the year (1997, 2002) and thrice world player of the year (1996–97, 2002). In 2018 he became majority owner of Spain's Real Valladolid soccer club.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies