Brazil legend Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, popularly called Ronaldo, is now the new owner of his boyhood club, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube.
Ronaldo’s bid beat Fenway Sports Group (FSG), owners of Liverpool FC to secure the rights to the major shares of the club, giving the local hero the reins to his boyhood club.
Cruzeiro is currently struggling in the second tier of Brazilian football but their acquisition by O Fenomeno has given the club’s hierarchy something to smile about and a future to look forward to.
Ronaldo only spent a year with Cruzeiro’s senior team in the Brazilian Serie A back in 1993/94 but his impact was felt all through the nation.
His 44 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions helped the club to win their first ever Copa do Brasil in 1993 and gave him visibility in Europe.
Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven were the ones to snap him up from Cruzeiro and the rest, as they say, is history.
The 45-year-old is now enjoying retirement from a career that was cut short due to injuries and has made a name in Brazil as an astute businessman, with sports business being one of his many ventures.
Cruzeiro is the second club he has acquired. Spanish Segunda side Real Valladolid is the first, and he currently serves as both owner controlling an 82 percent stake (51 percent when he bought it in 2018) in the club, and president who oversees the day to day running of the club.
“I have a lot to give back”, Ronaldo tells Cruzeiro fans
The final agreement to make Ronaldo the majority shareholder between Ronald and the club’s president Sergio Santos Rodrigues was reached during a meeting in Sao Paulo on Saturday.
Ronaldo and Rodrigues both announced the news on an Instagram live session.
“I have a lot to give back. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We will. We have a lot of work and ambition to do the Cruzeiro again,” Ronaldo said during the Instagram live.
Rodrigues added: “The club that revealed Ronaldo to the world, now Ronaldo is opening the doors to the world again.
“A job very well done and sewn for a while. Already known as president, now majority shareholder of Cruzeiro SAF.”
Ronaldo will be taking charge of a Cruzeiro with serious financial problems just like he did with Real Valladolid, and will hope that he can take them back to the Brazilian Serie A and into better financial times.