Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima– formerly nicknamed “Il Fenomeno” by the Italian press on account of his brilliant play for Inter Milan between 1997 to 2002, and now best known as “Fat Ronaldo” because of the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo– announced via Twitter that he contracted dengue fever while vacationing in northeastern Brazil. If you’re familiar with the icon (instrumental in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup championship run), then you–like us– find the following image incredibly depressing. Watching Ronaldo dominate the pitch growing up was truly a magical experience, which makes his fall from grace– and into obesity– especially hard to watch.
For nearly a decade he’s been a running joke, a living legend whose best days are long behind him. He’s the Orson Welles of modern football. Like Ronaldo, Welles was publicly mocked at the twilight of his career (his final film credit was lending his voice to Unicron in 1986’s Transformers: The Movie). Like Ronaldo, Welles’s weight ballooned uncontrollably for years.
But you know what? Just as Welles’s brilliance still lives on thanks to his film and audio broadcast of War Of The Worlds, fat Ronaldo’s legacy will always exist online:
(His goal at the :26 second mark is sheer brilliance)