Corinthians crowned state champions!

corinthians-championsCorinthians drew 1-1 with Santos at the Pacaembu stadium on Sunday to become the first unbeaten Paulista State Champions in almost 40 years.

The “Timao” had won the first leg of the decider 3-1 last weekend, with two spectacular goals from Ronaldo, and only needed a point or a narrow defeat to clinch the title.

But Corinthians went behind to a Kleber Pereira penalty kick in the 28th minute, after the veteran was impeded in the area by Corinthians goalkeeper Felipe.

However, Andre Santos levelled the scores five minutes later with a quick snap-shot inside of the area.

Ronaldo may not have made as much of an impact as in the first leg of the final, but the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year was very lively during the encounter.

Corinthians, who only last year competed in the Brazilian Second Division, are one of the main contenders to fight for the 2009 Serie A title.

With the draw, Corinthians extended their unbeaten streak at the Pacaembu stadium to 25 matches.

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Ronaldo scores crucial brace in final

Ronaldo vs SantosThe first leg of the Paulista state final against Santos saw Ronaldo net two sublime goals to see Corinthians take a massive stride towards securing a record winning title.

With Pele watching in the stands Corinthians took an early lead courtesy of defender Chicao with a brilliant free kick whispering into the top right hand corner.

Ronie then got into the game after 25 minutes latching onto a Chicao pass from defence with a beautiful first touch with his right foot and cooly slotting the ball home with his left.  Corinthians were 2-0 up away from home despite Santos’ majority of possession.

As the second half  got underway Santos continued to pressure the Corinthians defence.  It finally relented in the 60th minute when  Triguinho burst down the left wing as Felipe deflected a cross into his own net. 2-1

In the 75th minute Ronaldo then netted what is probably his most beautiful goal in a Corinthians shirt.  When released on the right hand side he cut infield with a beautiful piece of skill before lobbing the keeper to guide the ball into the back of the net.

A humble Ronaldo said after the game, “To be king for a day at the home of the king is excellent,”

The king himself commented “The ball landed at the feet of a player who doesn’t miss,” Pele told reporters. “Ronaldo makes the difference. The second goal was worthy of the World Cup.”

Ronaldo now has 8 goals in 10 games.

Ronaldo scores his Sixth to guide Corinthians to final

ronaldo-sprintRonaldo showed a burst of his old pace to score the second goal for Corinthians in a 2-0 win over Sao Paulo on Sunday.

The former AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid striker outpaced his marker over 30 metres as he chased Cristian’s through ball before clipping his shot past Sao Paulo Bosco in the 58th minute.

It was the sixth goal of the 32-year-old’s comeback following last year’s knee injury, the previous ones all having been scored from inside the penalty area.

Douglas had opened the scoring three minutes earlier following a counter attack from a Sao Paulo corner.

Corinthians completed a 4-1 aggregate win in their Paulista championship semi-final to earn a place against Santos in the two-leg final.

Santos beat Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s Palmeiras 2-1 on Saturday, winning 4-2 on aggregate, in a match marred by an ugly brawl near the end.

The Paulista is the largest of the regional championships which kick off the marathon Brazilian season.

The tournaments, one for each of Brazil’s 27 states, each have their own formats and are completely detached from the Brazilian championship which starts in May.

Ronaldo admits that he could retire in 2010

1538893157Brazilian legend Ronaldo today admitted that should he not make it to the 2010 World Cup, he could hang up his boots once and for all. Having just come back from his third major knee injury, he has netted 6 goals in just 7 starts for his new club Corinthians SP.

Despite maintaining an impressive goal scoring record that has seen him named World player of the year 3 times, he feels that the end of a legendary career is nearby. “The only thing that is certain is that one day we will die. I am going to see out my contract, think about it at the end of the year, and decide; play one more season, or end my career,” he reflected. The goofy Brazilian has been winning back the hearts of his fans by putting in goal scoring displays despite having not played for over a year. The hype has been so much that it’s almost inevitable that he is being linked back with a return to the Seleção.

The general consensus in Brazil is that he is going to have one last shot at the World Cup, and then call it a day. Having had such an impressive career with the Seleção, boasting 2 World Cup wins and runners up medal, you couldn’t begrudge him if he didn’t have the desire to do it in the famous gold shirt.

However, the national team is something that has always been a symbol for Ronaldo. In 1994 when he was named in the winning squad along with Romario and Bebeto, he was Ronaldinho…”the kid”. In France 98, the world witnessed one of the most bizarre stories to have graced a world cup final when he suffered mystery “illnesses”. The faithful then saw him gain redemption as the “miracle man” when he came back in 2002 and led Brazil to their ‘Penta’ in South Korea and Japan. His career has not just been about his personal achievement in Europe, but his finest hours have been on the biggest stages of them all, with Brazil. Now, what better way to repay the Brazilian public, than to seal off his legendary status, wearing the gold of Brazil, lifting that World Cup in South Africa for a third time.

I as a football fan wish it comes true. At 22 years old in 1999, football was Ronaldo’s to dominate for even longer. Batistuta once said, “Ronaldo is football”. However, God had other plans…Ronnie’s knees were not to be up to the challenge. Despite not being able to be that same player as back in 1999, he came back in 2002 and did what he did best, scored goals and played beautiful football…only to be heartbroken by the game he loves, again!

So fast forward now to 2009, hes back from yet ANOTHER knee injury, scoring with a ratio that even well… Ronaldo would be proud of! Dunga has said that if he keeps fit then he’ll definitely consider him. For Ronaldo the future is important. He says “”Right now I am enjoying the moment, playing well, and scoring goals. The end is arriving though and I have to make a decision.” We hope you keep playing, you deserve it; let’s hope Dunga thinks so too. Maybe South Africa could just see that famous smile for one last time.


Ronaldo nets 5th against Ituano!

1043885_full-prt1Ronaldo continues to do what he does best…score!  After failing to score in Corinthians last outing, Ronie scored the second in a comfortable 3-0 win for Corinthians.  A quickly taken freekick allowed Ronaldo to net his 5th goal in just 6 Corinthians starts, a ratio that made him one of the greatest goal scorers the world has ever seen.

Corinthians had taken the lead with a Jorge Henrique header in the second minute and went further ahead when midfielder Cristian scored from a free kick four minutes before halftime.

5 minutes from time Ronaldo could have and maybe should have had his second of the game after a dubious offside decision ruled out a cool finish from the Phenomenon.

The win kept Corinthians second in the table and guaranteed them a place in the semi-finals of the Paulista, the biggest of the regional tournaments which kick off the Brazilian season.

Ronaldo watch : 4 starts 4 goals!

After failing to score in his last game, the “fenomeno” kept up his goal a game ratio by bagging a brace against Ponte Prente.  Making his fifth appearance on his latest comeback from Ronaldo goal no4injury, he also managed to complete the full 90 minutes for the first time in a Corinthians shirt.

Ponte Preta went ahead in the 32nd minute when they sprang the Corinthians offside trap and Leandrinho chipped the ball over Felipe.

Corinthians equalised four minutes later when Ronaldo won and converted a penalty, his third goal for the club.

The high point came in the 58th minute with a superb Ronaldo goal, when he collected a cross with his left foot, slipped inside his marker and placed the ball in the far corner.

With Ponte Preta down to 10 men after Edilson was sent off for a second bookable offence, Corinthians looked set for victory.

However, the visitors equalised in the 75th minute when Corinthians failed to cut out a cross and Gum headed in.

Corinthians stayed second in the table with 34 points from 16 games and comfortably on course for a semi-final place.