Brazilian striker Ronaldo (R) embraces Corinthians
President Andres Sanchez during his official presentation in Sao Paulo December
The head coach of the Corinthians soccer team, Mano Menezes, recognized
yesterday that he will have the difficult task of keeping Ronaldo's spirits high
as he attempts to return to the field.
The club, along with its fans, is anxious to see the player debut in his new
uniform for the first time. While the team's department of marketing is trying
to capitalize on the player's image as much as possible, the coach is worried
about Ronaldo's concentration and self-esteem, hoping to avoid any obstacles to
his eventual return to the sport.
If it were up to the department of marketing, Ronaldo would return to the
field on January 17, the day that the team is scheduled to host Boca Juniors in
a friendly match.
The game would serve as a way to present the fans to the 2009 squad, as well
as show off the team's superstar, Ronaldo. However, Menezes and the team doctors
are weary of the premature return. The coach prefers to have Ronaldo fully
healed and ready to play at a high level.
Menezes normally puts his players returning from an injury into a game to see
their reaction and evaluate if they are ready or not. By doing so, he is able to
see if the player is 100 percent and ready to compete for a starting job, or if
he needs more time to recuperate.
However, since Ronaldo is considered to be a superstar, the team's fans may
have to be patient and wait for the athlete to take his time and fully recover.
"Ronaldo will return to play when he is good and ready. The people who will
make the decision as to when he is ready will be the medical staff and the
athlete. Ronaldo will have all the time he needs to get back in shape and fully
recover from his knee injury," said the team's director of soccer, Mario Gobbi.
Today, Ronaldo, as well as the rest of the Corinthians players, is expected
to appear at the team's training facilities to begin pre-season training for the
2009 year. The goal of the coaching staff is to reduce Ronaldo's body fat and
strengthen is left knee.
In personal news, Ronaldo welcomed the newest edition to his family on
Christmas Eve. His fiance gave birth to a baby girl in the city of Rio de
Janeiro. They named the girl Maria Sofia.