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Legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldo may have seen his last bit of action yesterday. The 31 year old striker for AC Milan suffered a horrible knee injury in a Serie A fixture against Livorno, in which he ruptured a tendon in his left knee. He was carried off the field in tears, and is now set for surgery in France.
The club owner, Silvio Berlusconi, said that Ronaldo "fears for his career", according to an interview with RAI TV. The BBC claims:
Ronaldo is expected to see Gerard Saillant, the same surgeon who treated him for a similar injury to his right knee in 2000.
"As a 31-year-old, he's very young," added Berlusconi of the Brazilian.
"He has an extraordinary physique, and I think within a few months he could return to being the champion that we all know him as."
The striker faces up to nine months on the sidelines after rupturing a tendon in his left knee.
"I don't want to say it's the end of his career because only time can decide - all we can do is stand by him," said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Milan face Premier League leaders Arsenal in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie on Wednesday 21 February.
Ronaldo, who is out of contract at the end of the season, suffered the same injury in his right knee in November 1999. He lasted seven minutes on his comeback in April 2000 before taking another 20 months to make a full recovery. Ancelotti said the whole club was worried about the Brazilian, who was named Fifa world player of the year three times and is the record scorer in World Cup finals.
This would most certainly be a horrible way to go for such a talented player. Perhaps his most famous game came in the World Cup Final in 2002 against Germany, in which he scored both goals in a 2-0 win, capping off a golden boot title for most goals in the tournament. But his career seemed to take a dive after a poor 2006 World Cup. Although he scored 3 more goals to make him the all time World Cup goal scorer, Ronaldo's speed and fatigue level increased as he gained plenty of weight before the tournament started.
That being said, if this is indeed the final game for Ronaldo, football has lost a great player, and here are some moments that made him FIFA World Player of the Year multiple times, and one of the greatest footballers of all time.