RIO DE JANEIRO -
Corinthians turned the page on Ronaldo's retirement and their
shock early Libertadores Cup exit with a 3-1 win over Santos in
their Paulista (Sao Paulo) state championship "clasico" on
The victory crowned the club's farewell to Ronaldo, who
retired last Monday, after he had completed a lap of honour
accompanied by his two sons to applause from both sets of fans.
In honour of the holder of a record 15 World Cup goals, all
the Corinthians players wore a number nine on the back of their
shirts, such as goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a 19 and midfielder
Paulinho 89, and the nickname "Fenomeno".
"I wanted to thank you for every minute I was here, each of
your shouts and applause, you who always supported me during my
time at Corinthians," Ronaldo told the crowd.
"I wanted to thank you for the unique experience of knowing
Corinthians and their fans," he said after being presented with
a plaque by the club's president.
Brazilian-born Portugal striker Liedson, signed to fill the
void left by the three times FIFA Player of the Year, scored the
best of the goals to seal the victory three minutes from time
with a lob over Santos keeper Rafael.
Left-back Fabio Santos, who has replaced the departed
Roberto Carlos, scored the first two goals with a free-kick and
a penalty. Brazil midfielder Elano pulled one back for Santos.
Ronaldinho, who followed Ronaldo back home to Brazil to play
for Flamengo, also had a Sunday to celebrate in the Carioca (Rio
de Janeiro) championship.
Although Ronaldinho had a quiet game, Flamengo qualified for
the final of the first phase of the competition by beating
Botafogo 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the Enganhao
Flamengo will meet surprise finalists Boavista, who upset
Brazilian champions Fluminense 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw
in the other semi-final.
"It's marvelous in such a short time to reach a final
already," Ronaldinho said. "I hope to reach it in good form and
have a good match."
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