Ronaldo makes plea for fewer games
Former Brazil international Ronaldo has called on FIFA and UEFA to reduce the footballing calendar in a bid to lengthen players’ careers.
Francesco Totti has given the ex-Barcelona striker the inspiration for his plea for fewer games to be played, with the Roma captain still going strong at the age of 37.
And Ronaldo, one year Totti’s junior, would like something to be done to allow him to continue watching such players for many years to come.
“We need to reassess the footballing calendar,” he is quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. “We need to ensure players play fewer games each year so that the champions last longer.
“I started when I was 16 and ended my career at 34, and I went a really long way. Of course Totti has gone even further, but he’s been lucky not to have had any serious injuries. The time comes when your body tells you, for the love of God, to stop playing.”
That moment came somewhat prematurely for the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, and even he would have benefitted from a more alleviated calendar.
However, at the same time, he admits he does not miss the daily rhythm of the game.
“I could never be a coach because that would mean going back to the routine from when I played,” he said. “Besides, I like watching football, but only the beautiful games. If you’re a coach, you also have to watch the ugly ones.”
When he gets a chance, though, Ronaldo gladly watches any game involving his former club Inter Milan.
He remains grateful to Inter president Massimo Moratti for signing him and says the club will never be the same without him.
“Moratti’s passion is and will always be Inter,” Ronaldo said. “But in the business world, you’ve got to think with a different head. He’s spent an incredible amount and it’s only right that he gets something back.
“I hope this Inter remains the Inter everybody wants to see: strong and enchanting. I’d like to see Inter higher up the league, but at the same time, I’m happy to see other clubs at the top like Roma and Napoli.”