Ronaldo – The Stuff Of Sit-coms
But he did not set much store by the scales and set about delivering doleful tales of woe and ambiguous half-truths to the media. Ronaldo’s fate has been the subject of gossip and controversy for years. He has only himself to blame for the rumours about his womanising and nocturnal club excursions but this time it was not entirely his fault. His subsequent peregrinations read like an advertising campaign for air miles. His trips included a visit to Professor Marc Martens in Antwerp and an independent doctorin Rio de Janeiro, Professor Jose Luiz Runco, who allegedly injected Ronaldo’s own blood into the damaged muscle, causing a heated debate in Italy about doping. After a nerve-wracking information campaign (“Ronaldo to play again soon”, “No-one knows when he will play again”, “Ronaldo will soon be back”), it took the Brazilian 121 days to make a lacklustre comeback in Cagliari. Three days later, he injured himself again — just warming up — for the UEFA Champions League. The stuff of sit-coms.
Ronaldo called this season “a completely new start to regain my old self”. As a symbol of his resolve, he created a new look with a shock of curls and intellectual spectacles. The new Ronaldo brand was supposed to reflect a serious approach but more often than not it gave rise to derision. “It makes him look even uglier; I’ll have to recommend my hairdresser to him,” joked club president Silvio Berlusconi, who had also wondered whether he should despatch the striker to Lourdes, the place of pilgrimage in France, to try to make him fit for work.
And the new rastafarian look this year caused unbridled amusement. “Just sublime,” remarked coach Carlo Ancelotti with a wink. “My own son would be banned from sitting at the table with such a hairdo.” Ronaldo’s latest advertising for hair growth ointment: “Try it out; it’s phenomenal!” came over rather as a farce about a fading star than an act of self-deprecation.