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Ronaldo brings Brazilian bravado to Shanghai

By ALYWIN CHEW | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-22 09:11
Brazilian great Ronaldo signs autographs for fans in Shanghai over the weekend. CHINA DAILY

Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo paid a whirlwind visit to Shanghai over the weekend.

Widely considered one of the best strikers in the game's history, the two-time Ballon d'Or winner spent time with fans at a meet-and-greet on Saturday before appearing at a youth soccer clinic in Pudong district on Sunday.

However, the 41-year-old former Barcelona and Real Madrid star told China Daily he has no plans to make coaching his day job.

"I don't like the idea of being a coach and living a life like before-training every day and traveling every weekend," he said at the event, which was organized by King Bally Entertainment Group.

"But I love being involved with soccer. Stay tuned because I will soon announce a piece of news regarding my latest involvement in the sport."

Champions League glory eluded Ronaldo during his five-year stint with Madrid but he'll be rooting for his Portuguese namesake Cristiano and the rest of the squad when they take on Liverpool in Saturday's final in Kiev.

"I hope Real Madrid wins. I think they're the favorite, but Liverpool also deserves to be there. It's going to be a great match to watch," said Ronaldo, who scored 83 goals for Madrid.

There were no prizes for guessing where his allegiance lies for the forthcoming World Cup, with the 1994 and 2002 winner reckoning Brazil stands "a good chance" of lifting the trophy again in Russia.

He identified reigning champion Germany, Spain, France and Argentina as his country's biggest threats.

"It's been a long time since we won. But if you look at the bigger picture, there are many countries that haven't won the World Cup for a long time too," he said.

As for the Chinese Super League's Brazilian bunch-led by Oscar, Hulk and Alexandre Pato-Ronaldo believes their presence can benefit China's ongoing quest to improve on the pitch.

"These Brazilian players have played in the biggest leagues in the world and this rich experience can benefit the local scene," he said.

"I think China is doing well in the sport. Just look at all the big-name players the clubs are buying. But the country also needs to invest more in youth development."

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