RIO DE JANEIRO - Corinthians face Gremio
this weekend with half a mind already on next week's Brazilian
championship top-of-the-table clash with Fluminense.
They are also looking to get overweight former Brazil
striker Ronaldo match fit in time for the away match against
"Flu" in Rio on Wednesday.
Past the halfway mark in the championship, Flu lead the
table with 41 points from 20 matches. Corinthians are second
with 38 points and a game in hand.
Ronaldo, whose star has waned outside Brazil to the point
the distinction has to be made with Portugal's Cristiano
Ronaldo, is coming back into the side at this critical point
after almost three months battling injury and weight problems.
The former World Player of the Year scored with a penalty
this week in Corinthians' 1-1 draw with Atletico Paranaense,
the same team against which he had netted his only other goal
in the championship, also from the spot in May.
Coach Adilson Batista is unsure whether to play Ronaldo
against Gremio to give him more time on the pitch or leave him
to work calmly in training.
"We've got to go easily. It's three months out, he had a
game last week, came back and held up well," said Batista,
referring an August 29 match against Vitoria.
"He's still got to improve a lot. He wants to and that's
the most important thing," Batista told reporters in the early
hours of Thursday after the match in Curitiba.
Corinthians, seeking the title in their centenary year,
want to make the most of Ronaldo's knack of scoring decisive
goals - he still holds the record of 15 at World Cups having
helped Brazil lift their fifth title in 2002.
Fluminense, who first visit Atletico Goianiense at the
weekend, will be looking to avenge a 1-0 defeat away to
Corinthians earlier in the season on Wednesday.
However, Flu will not be hosting Corinthians at the
Maracana where they have enjoyed the advantage of huge home
crowds to spur them to the top of the table.
The giant stadium has been closed for refurbishment for the
2014 World Cup and Flu will play at the Enganhao, home of Rio
"We're in first place, fighting for the title, and it's
essential to support our players. To be champions our fans have
to be by our side," coach Muricy Ramalho told reporters.
"Against Corinthians, it's down to the fans to take charge
of the stadium. We mustn't let (Corinthians) do that. It's our
home, the stadium is in Rio de Janeiro."
Interact: Twitter * Facebook * Forums
Man City set next manager daunting task of winning five trophies in the next five years
Europa League winners in 2015 will qualify for the Champions League the following season
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010