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Just a curiosity: the word Ronaldo appears 27 times in the article.

edit: Whoa, why the downvote? I'm justing pointing it out that is impossible to talk about Messi without talking about CR7 (and vice-versa).

"Ronaldo" is one of the things that confuses me, as an occasional spectator, the most. In every generation there seems to be a person called "Ronaldo". Most of them played for Brasil, but the most recent one is a portuguese player. For me it's difficult to get who people are talking about when they mention "Ronaldo".

There are 3 Ronaldos, all of them was at some point the best player of world (awarded by FIFA inclusively).

The first, Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, started his the career known as Ronaldinho, but droped soon later to just Ronaldo. Idol of Brazil's 2002 winning. Transvestite scandals. Famous for performances with Brazil and Real Madrid. A.K.A. as "phenomenon". http://bit.ly/1pHIQH7.

The second, the well-known Ronaldinho, is most remembered for Barcelona, but also played for Milan. Not well known for it's performance with the national team, unlike the first. It still an idol across the globe even nowadays. Plays for Atletico Mineiro (my team :D :D). http://bit.ly/1mGDCmT.

The third, the portuguese one of the list, is the most recent one. Despite being Cristiano Ronaldo, we sometimes short to just Ronaldo since it's the "relevant" one today. Also known as CR7 (7 is his shirt number). Started the career in a astonishing way in Manchester United, he was a kid that got a place in a very old and experienced team. Nowadays an idol at Real Madrid. http://bit.ly/1i5uUSr.

Also known as CR7 (7 is his shirt number).

So, funny thing ...

When I first saw "CR7" I immediately thought it was some sort of abbreviation, like I18N, and assumed it meant "CR" followed by 7 letters.

So that's apparently how my brain works.

In fairness in this case your intuition does match with his name (CR I S T I A N O, CR7).

Ronaldo Nazario de Lima was known as Ronaldinho in the beginning of his career to distinguish him from yet another Ronaldo, Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus, now known as "Ronaldão": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronaldo_Rodrigues_de_Jesus

So at one point, Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus was "Ronaldo", Ronaldo Nazario de Lima was "Ronaldinho", and Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was "Ronaldinho Gaucho".

Cristiano's explosion onto the scene at Manchester United was remarkable but "astonishing" is a bit of a stretch, since they've always given chances to younger players to work their way into the first team and many of them have impressed, including David Beckham (who Cristiano Ronaldo replaced), Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and more recently Adnan Januzaj.

Just so folks know, nicknames are very common in Brazil, and formal names are rarely used. That's why you have lots of overlap and whatnot. Slate did a quick primer on this before the start of the World Cup in 2006: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/20...

While not strictly PC, in euro footbal circles we split the three into Fat Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo (Christinao Ronaldo). Fat Ronaldo because he got fat when he retired, Ronaldinho because thats what his shirt said when he played for FC Barcelona, and just Ronaldo (Christiano Ronaldo), because he is the current one.

"Fat Ronaldo" is a little unfair--he played for the last few years of his career with an untreated thyroid disorder. It was left untreated because evidently levothyroxine is a banned substance since it can be used for doping.

He got fat much before he retired. The last three seasons at Madrid he was overweight but still the most explosive player in the box.

He was a sight to behold. At least 5 kilos overweight (as a professional football player!) and he could dash in front of defenders in front of him. I saw him 2-3 meters behind a defender during a 10-15 meter sprint where he ended 2-3 meters in front of the defender at the end.

Really explosive!

I remember watching him play. His free kicks/long range shots were amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGbjmD3btJg

That's Roberto Carlos who plays midfield

I think you wanted this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8bZhNBQktQ

Carlos actually plays left back.

That's Roberto Carlos

In Brazil people always add say the full "Cristiano Ronaldo".

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