Ronaldo close to crowning comeback after double strike

April 26th, 2009

Ronaldo, once the forgotten man of Brazilian football, was the star of the first leg of a fiercely contested São Paulo state championship final on Sunday, scoring twice against rivals Santos.

Photo: nikefutebol, flickr

Photo: nikefutebol, flickr

His second goal, an exquisite left-foot chip over Santos goalkeeper Fabio Costa in the 76th minute gave his Corinthians team a 3-1 advantage and moved his dream of winning silverware in his comeback season a step closer.

Earlier, in the caldron of Santos’ Vila Belmiro stadium, Ronaldo killed a through ball dropping over his right shoulder, before running on to fire home a low left-foot shot in the 26th minute.

Chicão had put Corinthians ahead in the 11th minute from a free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box.
Triguinho pulled a goal back in the 61st minute for Santos.

Now in the twilight of an illustrious career that will be remembered for two goals in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup triumph over Germany, Ronaldo has notched eight goals in ten appearances for Corinthians, including a late equalising header against bitter rivals Palmeiras.

“The most important thing was the result,” said a beaming Ronaldo at the final whistle.

After a year out of the game, a clearly heavier Ronaldo, not for the first time has overcome potentially career-threatening injury and his team now go into the home leg of the final at São Paulo’s Pacembu stadium next Sunday as overwhelming favourites.

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