Real to honour retired Ronaldo
Brazil legend Ronaldo, who announced his retirement from football in February, will be honoured tomorrow by his former side Real Madrid at the club's home match against Sporting Gijon.
The 34-year-old will take the honorary kick-off prior to the match and will be given a replica of a statue that sits in front of the team's dressing room, the club said in a statement posted today on its website.
Ronaldo joined Real from Inter Milan in 2002, winning two league titles, one Intercontinental Cup and one Spanish Super Cup with the club before being sold to AC Milan in January 2007.
"His class and quality will be remembered by generations to come," the Real statement said.
Ronaldo said it was a "great honour" for him as he arrived at Madrid airport from Sao Paulo ahead of the match.
"I am very keen to see my former team-mates and feel the presence of the fans up close. I will always carry Real Madrid in my heart," he added.
Ronaldo announced his definitive retirement from competitive football during an emotional press conference on 14 February, citing fatigue and a hypothyroid problem which played havoc with his weight.
He will bid his final farewell to football in a friendly against Romania in Sao Paulo on 7 June.
Ronaldo is is the highest goalscorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup™ - scoring 15 in total, one more than German players Gerd Muller and Miroslav Klose.
He is one of only two players to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times, the other being France's Zinedine Zidane, who also played for Real.