Madrid's Ronaldo wins second Golden Ball awardPosted: Monday December 16, 2002 12:02 PM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2002 12:41 PM
PARIS (Reuters) -- Brazilian striker Ronaldo has been named European Footballer of the Year for the second time, organizers France Football magazine said on Monday.
The Real Madrid forward, who scored twice in Brazil's 2-0 World Cup final victory over Germany and finished as the tournament's leading scorer, becomes one of only eight players to win the prestigious award for a second time.
Ronaldo scored Real's first goal in their 2-0 World Club Cup win over Paraguay's Olimpia two weeks ago, and is in the running to become FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time later this week.
He finished ahead of wing back Roberto Carlos, also of Real Madrid and Brazil, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich and Germany), and midfielders Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid and France) and Michael Ballack (Bayern and Germany).
The 26-year-old Rio-born striker, who also won the Golden Ball award in 1997, follows Spain's Alfredo Di Stefano, Germans Franz Beckenbauer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and England's Kevin Keegan as twice-winners.
French playmaker Michel Platini and Dutch strikers Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff won the award three times.
Despite struggling with knee injuries that kept him out for much of last season, Ronaldo triumphantly returned in 2002 to fulfil his promise as one of Brazil's finest players since Pele.
He pipped his strike partner Rivaldo to finish as the World Cup's leading scorer with eight goals.
His performance in the Yokohama final laid to rest questions about his appetite for the big occasion after he suffered a stress-related breakdown just before the 1998 final, which Brazil lost 3-0 to France.
After the World Cup Ronaldo completed a controversial transfer from Inter Milan to European champions Real for 47 million euros. He scored twice on his Real debut against Alaves.
A spokesman for France Football said the award was based on a European-based player's performance throughout the world.
Journalists from 52 UEFA-affiliated countries voted for the award, which was won last year by England and Liverpool striker Michael Owen.
Europe honors Ronaldo, Brazil's cameo striker
LONDON (Reuters) -- Europe hailed Brazilian Ronaldo as its player of 2002 on Monday despite the striker taking part in just 17 top flight games for Inter Milan and Real Madrid and reaching his peak thousands of kilometers away in Asia.
Unlike his Real and Brazil team mate Roberto Carlos or Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, Ronaldo's year has been a series of cameo performances peaking during the World Cup at which he was top scorer with eight goals.
Ronaldo has played almost as many games for his country this year as for Inter, his pre-World Cup team, or European champions Real, the side he joined acrimoniously soon after the tournament in South Korea and Japan.
He has played 17 club games at domestic and European level this year and 13 for Brazil. Astonishingly, he scored more goals -- 11 -- for his country than for his clubs.
Wing back Roberto Carlos played 46 games for Real Madrid in 2002, while French playmaker Zinedine Zidane played 40 times for the Spanish club and scored a superb winner in the European Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen.
Kahn, who won the award for the best player of the World Cup finals after taking Germany to the final, played 42 games for Bayern Munich this year.
Ronaldo, who also won the European award in 1997, is expected to be named world player of the year on Tuesday, the third time he would have earned that title.
Ronaldo statistics (ignoring domestic cup competitions) Inter Milan matches goals Serie A 4 4 UEFA Cup 2 0 Real Madrid League 7 5 Champions League 3 0 World Club Cup v Olimpia 1 Brazil Pre-World Cup friendlies 4 1 World Cup 7 8 Since World Cup 2 2
MADRID (Reuters) -- Factbox on Brazilian striker Ronaldo, named European Footballer of the Year on Monday.
1976 - Sept 22, born on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
1988 - Aged 12, signs for his first club, Social Ramos.
1990 - Signs professional terms for Ramos after being rejected by Rio giants Flamengo.
1991 - Moves to second division side Sao Cristovao, scoring 36 goals in 54 games.
1993 - Joins first division Cruzeiro and makes his name in Brazil by scoring 58 times in 60 appearances.
1994 - Aged 17, makes international debut in a 2-1 win over Argentina in March. Included in Brazil's World Cup squad but does not play as the team win the tournament, beating Italy on penalties in the final. In August, signs for PSV Eindhoven for a club record 10.8 million guilders (US$4.70 million).
1994-95 - Finishes season as top scorer in the Dutch first division with 30 goals and helps Brazil to the final of the Copa America.
1995-96 - Scores 12 goals in 13 appearances for PSV before succumbing to his first major knee injury. Undergoes operation in February 1996 and returns as a late substitute in PSV's Dutch Cup final victory. Final record for PSV is 55 goals in 56 games.
1996 - July, moves to Barcelona for a world record $19.5 million fee.
1996-97 - Makes an instant impact at Nou Camp, scoring several astonishing goals with rampaging runs from the halfway line. Named FIFA World Player of the Year and scores Barcelona's winner in a 1-0 victory over Paris St Germain in the Cup Winners' Cup final. Final record for Barcelona is 33 goals in 38 games.
1997 - June 20, signs a five-year contract with Inter Milan after one of the longest transfer disputes in soccer history. Completes move on September 8 when FIFA orders Inter to pay an additional $1.8 million to Barcelona, bringing the total fee to a world record $27.9 million.
1997 - Dec 22, named 1997 European Footballer of the Year in an annual poll organized by France Football magazine.
1998 - Jan 12, named FIFA's World Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
1998 - May 6, scores one goal and inspires Inter to a 3-0 win over Lazio in the UEFA Cup final. His final tally in his first season for Inter is 34 goals in 47 matches.
1998 - July 12, suffers a mysterious illness hours before the World Cup final in France. After first being named as a substitute, he is then included in the starting line-up. He plays badly and Brazil lose 3-0 to France.
1998 - Oct, suffers a series of problems with his knees that drastically reduce his appearances for Inter over the course of the season.
1999 - May, ends the season with six goals in six matches to suggest his problems are behind him. Tally for the season is 15 goals in 26 appearances.
1999 - Oct 23, scores in the Milan derby but is sent off for the first time in his Serie A career.
1999 - Nov 21, scores in a 6-0 defeat of Lecce but then trips on a greasy San Siro pitch and limps off. Inter at first deny he will need surgery.
1999 - Nov 30, undergoes an operation on a ruptured knee-cap tendon at a clinic in Paris.
1999 - Dec 24, marries Brazilian model Milene Domingues in a modest ceremony in Rio.
2000 - April 6, becomes a father when Milene gives birth to a baby boy named Ronald.
2000 - April 12 - makes his comeback as a substitute in the Italian Cup final for Inter after more than four months out. Six minutes later his knee buckles as he launches one of his trademark weaving runs on goal. He is whisked from the pitch on a motorized cart in tears.
2000 - April 13 - flies to Paris for examination by same specialist who carried out November surgery. A painstaking recovery takes more than two years but his comeback is then cut short by a series of frustrating muscular injuries.
2002 - At the start of the year, he is taken back to Brazil from Italy where an eight-strong team of professionals spend one month effectively rebuilding the stricken star. This time it works. The muscular injuries disappear and Ronaldo is ready for his third World Cup.
2002 - June, World Cup top scorer with eight goals in Brazil's triumphant campaign including two in the final against Germany. Joins Pele as the third-highest scorer in World Cup history with 12 goals in the finals.
2002 - Aug, rumors link him with a move to Real Madrid, who say they have been approached by the player's agent.
2002 - Aug 20, announces he wants to leave Inter and would prefer to return to Spain. Inter president Massimo Moratti insists that Ronaldo will play one more season for the Italian club before leaving.
2002 - Aug 22, Real president Florentino Perez and Moratti meet face-to-face in Formentera to discuss a possible transfer deal.
2002 - Aug 23, Talks break down after Real call off bid because of differences over the value of the player.
2002 - Aug 30, As the transfer deadline looms the two clubs restart negotiations and agree a deal which will see the player sign for Real Madrid in a deal worth 45 million euros.
Spends the next month nursing a series of niggling injuries that postpone his debut for his new club.
2002 - Oct 6, scores within 60 seconds of making his debut as a substitute during a league game against Alaves. Grabs another goal before the end of the 5-2 win against the Basque side.
2002 - Dec 3, scores the opening goal in Real's 2-0 victory over South American champions Olimpia in the World Club Cup in Yokohama.
2002 - Dec 12, named World Soccer magazine's Player of the Year.
2002 - Dec 16, named European footballer of the year.
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