Former Brazil striker Ronaldo calls it a day

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Former Brazil striker Ronaldo who scored a record 15 World Cup goals announced his retirement on Monday, ending one of the most successful careers in soccer.

The 34-year-old three-times FIFA World Player of the Year, a twice World Cup winner, said injuries and fitness problems prevented him from playing to his best form. “I came here to say today that I’m ending my career as a professional player,” Ronaldo, with his two sons at his side, told a packed news conference at Corinthians’ training complex in Sao Paulo.

“Everyone knows about my history of injuries...and those pains made me bring forward the end of my career.”

Ronaldo, who had a contract with Corinthians until the end of the year, said his fitness problems were the overriding reason for his decision.

He said he discovered while playing for AC Milan in Italy that he was suffering from a thyroid problem. “Four years ago at Milan I discovered I was suffering from a complaint called hypothyroidism, which slows down your metabolism and to control it I would have to take some hormones that are not permitted in football because of anti-doping,” Ronaldo said.