Brazilian Ronaldo set to play for Corinthians in the wake of injury
Off-form Brazilian superstar Ronaldo is set to play football again in 2009, with the Brazilian club Corinthians, his agent confirmed Tuesday.
"There is a verbal agreement which will, within the next two days, be reflected in a contract so that Ronaldo's presence can be confirmed as soon as possible. Corinthians is led by very serious, determined people, and we are very happy about that," agent Fernando Farah told the website GloboEsporte.
Farah had just had breakfast with the striker and with top representatives of the Sao Paulo club, dpa reported.
The deal was confirmed by Corinthians manager Antonio Carlos.
"It has been arranged. Now we will discuss the duration and the terms of the contract," he said.
On its website, the club promises fans "a phenomenal 2009," in an obvious reference to Ronaldo, 32, who is nicknamed "O Fenomeno," the phenomenon.
The preliminary deal put an end to speculation that Ronaldo - the top scorer in the history of World Cup tournaments, and three times FIFA World Player of the Year (1996, 1997, 2002) - might retire after undergoing serious left knee surgery in February 2008.
At the moment, the striker - who previously played professionally for Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan - is further trying to shed the excessive weight he has put on over many months away from the football pitch.
Ronaldo's decision to join Corinthians surprised many in Brazil because the forward is a self-declared fan of the Rio de Janeiro club Flamengo and has often expressed a desire to join that club. Over the past three months, Ronaldo even used Flamengo facilities to train and undergo rehabilitation exercises in the aftermath of surgery.
Ronaldo has been out of work since July, when his contract at Milan expired.