Ronaldo keeps winning titles in Brazil

Jul 2, 2009 - 4:36 PM By TALES AZZONI Associated Press Writer

SAO PAULO(AP) -- Four months into his remarkable return to soccer, Ronaldo is getting used to winning titles again.

The veteran striker helped Corinthians clinch the Brazilian Cup on Wednesday, lifting his second trophy in a row since recovering from the third serious knee injury of his career.

Ronaldo already won the traditional Sao Paulo state title with Corinthians in May, and Wednesday's win caps off the striker's successful comeback to competitive soccer.

"I have to be thankful. My return to football has really been fantastic," Ronaldo said. "I couldn't imagine things would happen like this."

Although he is yet to reach the form that made him a three-time world player of the year, Ronaldo has been key for Corinthians since debuting with the popular Brazilian club in March.

He has scored 11 goals, including decisive ones in the final of the Sao Paulo state championship and in the first leg of the Brazilian Cup final two weeks ago in Sao Paulo, when Corinthians won 2-0. Ronaldo didn't score Wednesday in the 2-2 draw in Porto Alegre, but set up the team's second goal.

"It was a great final," Ronaldo said. "This group showed a lot of strength, it deserved this title."

The victory adds another trophy to Ronaldo's long list of triumphs, which include the 1994 and 2002 World Cups with Brazil. He also was successful at club level in Europe, winning trophies with PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Wednesday's victory also gave Corinthians a berth in next year's Copa Libertadores, Latin America's most important club competition and the team's main objective for next year. It could end up helping persuade Ronaldo to extend his contract with the club past the end of 2009.

"Lets see how it goes, but the tendency is to stay, I think we are headed that way," Ronaldo said.

Corinthians president Andre Sanches said it's likely the 32-year-old star will remain at the club for 2010.

"Everything is going as planned," Sanches said. "So automatically, we are halfway through to adding another year to his contract. Ronaldo is happy to be playing with Corinthians and we are happy to have him here."

Ronaldo signed with Corinthians in December 2008 despite doubts he would never recover from the knee injury he sustained with AC Milan in February of that year.

Ronaldo and Corinthians will return their focus to the Brazilian league, in which the team is sixth in the 20-team standings with 11 points from eight matches. Corinthians is trying to win its fifth Brazilian league title.

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