Former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo said on Wednesday that he hopes to make a shock comeback from retirement – but he’ll have to get fit first.
The 38-year-old recently became a minority owner in North America Soccer League club Fort Lauderdale Strikers and he has hinted that he could come out of retirement to play for them too.
According to the Daily Mail during a news conference on Wednesday, which had the mayor of Fort Lauderdale and NASL leadership in attendance, he was asked whether he would play for the Strikers and he responded by saying he dreams of a return to football.
Still loves football
“That is not easy because I love to play, I love soccer, that was all my life my big love. When I retired, I stopped playing because of my body, so much pain and injuries,” said the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid goal scorer.
"That is not easy because I love to play, I love soccer, that was all my life my big love. When I retired, I stopped playing because of my body, so much pain and injuries,” said the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid goal score"
“To play a soccer game you have to be in very good shape. I will try for myself, it's another challenge, I am sure it will help the league, help the team.”
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Reasons to return
"I will train a lot, and if the coach needs me, maybe," he said.
He also added, with his trademark cheeky smile, that he would like to play if the Strikers were to reach a final.
Ronaldo may also be tempted by the chance to play against former Real Madrid teammate Raul, who recently joined NASL side New York Cosmos.
The second tier of North American football may be seem a little modest for someone who has won the World Cup twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times, but it has been a considerable while since he played football at the highest level.
His last professional appearance came in 2010 for Brazilian side Corinthians but he was forced into retirement through injury a few months later in February 2011.
Should his hopeful return to football fall through though, he may be able to sit back on his new-found love for professional poker after he recently prized at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas.