Brazil legend Ronaldo retires

Ronaldo ended a brilliant 18-year soccer career on Monday. (REUTERS/Nacho Doce)

Ronaldo ended a brilliant 18-year soccer career on Monday. (REUTERS/Nacho Doce)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:05 PM ET

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Brazilian soccer icon Ronaldo announced his retirement from the sport on Monday after a storied 18-year career.

The 34-year-old captured World Cup titles with Brazil in 1994 and 2002 and he leaves the game as the top scorer in the history of the competition with 15 goals.

In 97 appearances for his country Ronaldo scored 62 times, which places him second on the all-time list for Brazil behind only the legendary Pele.

A three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Ronaldo played at some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan, and he totaled 326 goals in 466 games over the course of his club career.

"As you can imagine and you heard during the whole weekend, I'm here today to [confirm that] I'm closing my career as a professional player," Ronaldo said.

"[There were] a lot of defeats and a lot of victories. I made a lot of friends, and I can't recall any enemies. I'm ending my career due to some very important reasons."

Ronaldo has been playing at the club level with Corinthians in Brazil since 2009, but he has struggled with his weight and come under heavy criticism from fans.

The latest being a stunning 2-0 defeat in the preliminary round of the Copa Libertadores by Colombian side Deportes Tolima.

Ronaldo was under contract through the rest of the season, but he has instead chosen to call a halt to one of the best careers in recent times.


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