SAO PAULO - Former Brazil striker Ronaldo was greeted by an estimated 6,000 fans at his official presentation by new club Corinthians on Friday. The 32-year-old, who has not played since suffering a serious knee injury in February, was welcomed with fireworks and rolls of paper when he walked on to the training pitch at Brazil's second most popular club. "This is an enormous challenge and I will do my best," Ronaldo told reporters. "It won't be easy but with hard work and training I can do it. "I want to show I'm back, that I have overcome another difficult obstacle." "Corinthians have opened the doors for me and I'm happy to be able to play in Sao Paulo. I was seduced by their project of building a strong team for 2009." The club have just won promotion to the top flight after a season in Serie B. Ronaldo, who is expected to receive a salary far in excess of his team mates, said he did not expect to arouse jealously in the squad. "I've never had this sort of problem," he said. "I'm just another player, with the same rights and duties. I will not have any type of privilege. IMMENSE RESPONSIBILITY "I'm going to carry an immense responsibility. I'm sure people will demand more of me in training and in matches. "I'm not going to run away. I will honour the Corinthians shirt from start to finish." Ronaldo ruptured a tendon in his left knee, the third such injury of his career, in a Serie A game for AC Milan in February and left the Italian club at the end of the season. Even before the injury he had been struggling for fitness and form. He has not played for Brazil since his much-criticised performance at the 2006 World Cup. Corinthians, who despite their popularity have never won the South American Libertadores Cup, have had a tumultuous past few years. In 2004 they signed a multi-million dollar partnership with London-based investors Media Sports Investments (MSI) and then went on a spending spree which included the signings of Argentine pair Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. Corinthians won the Brazilian championship in 2005 but the MSI partnership later unravelled, players left in droves and the team were relegated in 2007. The club bounced back this year under coach Mano Menezes.
12 December 2008
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