A CAREER IN KITS: RONALDO

A CAREER IN KITS: RONALDO

It’s a scandal that when you google ‘Ronaldo’, O Fenômeno isn’t the top search result (some Portuguese lad ranks higher than him, weirdly). Because the Brazilian is the OG, the goat, the ultimo.

At his physical peak, no one could live with him. He redefined the role of a striker, and in doing so became an influence for generations of forwards who followed.

 “The best player I ever worked with? It has to be Brazil's Ronaldo,” said Sir Bobby Robson, the man who also managed Romario, Stoichkov, Shearer and a host of other world class talent. "I don't think I've ever seen a player at 20 have so much."

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima’s brilliance shone first at Cruzeiro and then in Europe, where he rapidly established himself as the finest centre forward the game had ever known.

He also wore some sensational shirts along the way – we’ve picked five of our all-time favourites, some that are classics, some that might surprise you.

Right, let’s get into this…

 

#1 Cruzeiro Home 1993 - Finta

 

Cruzeiro Home 1993 - Finta

 

In 1993, Brazilian legend Jairzinho spotted a kid playing street football in Rio and quickly realised he had stumbled upon a diamond. He took young Ronaldo to Belo Horizonte where he would sign for one of Brazil’s biggest clubs, Cruizeiro.

In terms of style, Ronaldo could not have asked for a better start: the white-blue jersey has one of the most iconic badges in South American football – the five stars that symbolise the constellation of Crux – and bore the famous Coca-Cola sponsor logo. Shop all Brazilian Clubs here.

 

#2 PSV Home 1995 - Nike

 

PSV Home 1995 - Nike

 

In 1994, it was time for Ronaldo to pack his bags again. After scoring 12 goals in 14 appearances with Cruizeiro, the striker was already one of the most sought-after strikers in world football. His transfer was strategic, opting to move to one of Europe’s more technical but less glamorous leagues, where he wore the PSV jersey.

 In his three years in Holland, the best red and white uniform worn by Ronaldo is surely the shirt worn in the 1995 season. The Nike design, with vertical red and white stripes and iconic Philips sponsor, is these days a bonafide fail.

The shirt was certainly a great fit for Ronny, who banged in 42 goals in 46 appearances. Buy PSV shirts here.

 

#3 Inter Home 2002 - Nike

 

Inter Home 2002 - Nike

 

Let's take a step forward in the Fenomeno's career and see him now wearing the Inter shirt. With the Nerazzurri, Ronaldo won a UEFA Cup but also suffered one of the biggest defeats of his career. Inter lost the Scudetto on 5 May 2002 in their last game, with the Brazilian ending up in tears on the bench. *Scant consolation then that the kit is one of the most beautiful made by Nike for Inter. The stripes are interspersed with gold details while on the sides there is a snakeskin effect to recall the mascot of the "Nerazzurri" team. Buy Inter Milan shirts here.

 

#4 Brazil Home World Cup 2002

 

Brazil Home World Cup 2002

 

What can make you forget such a big defeat? Let’s try winning the World Cup! Ronaldo regained his smile in Japan and Korea, dragging Brazil to a fifth World Cup victory. The template used in 2002 by Nike is still one of the most sought-after by jersey collectors. The green-gold uniform from that year is especially popular if it comes with the number 9 printed on the back. Buy Brazil shirts here.

 

#5 Real Valladolid Home

 

Real Valladolid Home

 

Who said that the best jerseys of a career are the ones worn on the field? After bidding farewell to playing football, Ronaldo embarked on a new adventure, leading the Spanish club Real Valladolid. And accompanying him on this adventure was a very special jersey. The lilac and white stripes provided a new colour palette for Brazil’s finest – and one that is very easy on the eye. Buy Real Valladolid shirts here.

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