Some older football fans refer to Ronaldo Nazario as the “Original Ronaldo” rather frequently. The only time the two Ronaldos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo Nazario, ever played together on the same field was in a charity game that Luis Figo hosted back in July 2005.
They both had great success at Real Madrid, but “R9” was unable to include the superstar from Portugal in his starting lineup.
In a film from February of last year, he is shown selecting Gianluigi Buffon as his custodian before selecting his fellow countrymen Cafu and Roberto Carlos to form a back four with Franz Beckenbauer and Paolo Maldini.
The late Diego Maradona and Zico were paired in the middle of the pitch, where Ronaldo then created a lethal offensive quartet with himself, Lionel Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Pele, and Ronaldinho, football’s greatest performer.
Despite the fact that Ronaldo had scored more than 800 goals in his career, the team was full with players that completely altered the game.
In an interview with The Guardian in 2022, Ronaldo Nazario talked about “8 special players” and did not mention Cristiano Ronaldo:
“I think there is a very, very special group where you have Diego, Messi, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Pele, Van Basten, Ronaldinho.”
“I would include myself. Let the fans say, let them debate it in the bars. But you can’t rank them, can’t compare generations.”
“People call me Original Ronaldo but, bloody hell, there were others – and they weren’t false. I’m not the only one and more will come along and be better than me, in everything.”