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ULSAN, Korea (Reuters) - The world is still waiting to see whether Ronaldo can return to greatness but the man himself has no such doubts.

The twice former Player of the Year, apparently stung by the suggestion he might not return to being the player he once was, has left his modesty at home, heaping praise on himself and taking provocative swipes at his opponents.

At times, he has resembled former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali at his mouthiest.

Ronaldo's first outburst came last week in Malaysia when he was amazed to discover that bookmakers did not consider him among the favourites to finish topscorer at the World Cup.

'Not many people are betting on me but now I'm going to surprise everybody and the people who believed in me are going to win lots of money,' he said.

He was again in cocky mood after scoring his first international goal for nearly three years in the 4-0 win over Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, claiming that Brazil's so-called 'Three R' attack - himself, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo - was one to be feared.

HEAD START

'It's a trio that is going to cause a lot of headaches to opponents. We have a lot of quality,' he said. 'I'm sure that if we at our best, we will always be worth a goal's head start. We will play great football in the World Cup and score lots of goals.'

That was followed by a swipe at the defence of China, Brazil's second opponents in Group C.

'I've always scored goals against the best defenders in the world so I'm not going to worry about facing the defence of China,' he said dismissively.

'The Phemomenon' continued in the same vein when asked about his continued worldwide popularity.

'If this popularity exists, it's because I worked hard to earn it,' he claimed.

From the moment he made his international return against Yugoslavia in March, Ronaldo has made it clear he intends to be the best again and regain the mantle he has lost to players such as Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane.

VERY AMBITIOUS

'I want to start slowly but I remain very ambitious. In my career I have always conquered everything I wanted. My objective is to be the best again, I know it might take time but I will do it,' he said at the time.

Two-and-a-half years of injury misery and continued speculation about what happened at the 1998 World Cup final France have clearly riled a player who until France '98 had only enjoyed success.

After he underwent the second of two operations on his right knee, there was even speculation that Ronaldo's career could be over.

Ronaldo admitted this week that the continuing doubts had left him exasperated.

'Everything that has been said and written about me has been about my injuries and now I have got the chance to give them something else to talk about,' he said.

'I'm going to try and play well and score goals and forget everything that has happened.'
 

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I'll keep my oppinion pretty short & sweet, shutup and play football! :fero:
 

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He is quite arrogant. Stop this rhetoric and perform. Get atleast the Golden boot and then u can brag as much as u can. He didn't deliver the goals in the finals in the 98 and didn't deliver in the last day of serie A against Lazio.

Ciao
 

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I don't mind. After its difficult qualifying campaign, Brasil is finally relaxed and confident, and is looking forward to the World Cup. The players are in a good, sometimes cocky and playful, mood.
 

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He never said he was the greatest, otherwise it would be pretty stupid of him. He was not even the best player of the last decade, let alone of the entire history.

But i like Ronaldo saying things like this. However who plays football every week like i do, and is a center forward, knows that before you have any ability of goalscoring you have to have a right set of mind. THe confidence wins you games (ok sometimes it loses) but for a center forward he has to be confident, and seeing Ronaldo say things like this , just makes me happy that his confidence is back , which will translate to goals in this World Cup!
 

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I am not sure if it's confidence or trying to bring his morale up or even trying to be too cocky for the World Cup but I seriously think it's better he keeps his mouth shut untill after the tournament because I am a keen believer that trash talking won't get you no where, when it comes to the greatest tournament in the world. It'll give you more pressure to play up to his expectations.

Ronaldinho, Denilson and Juninho Paulista and maybe even Rivaldo lives up to what he has done for Barca in the last few years will be some main guys to help him out but it'll sure be hard for him if they don't all do good. :fero: :crazy:
 

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PAtrick,
Let him say and scare the opponents. What will you do when your an opposing defender and you see in the tunnel an attack of ROnaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho Gaucho and Juninho cmiong in.

And you still know that in the second half you have Edilson and Denilson to come in a dribble you away from teh world cup....... i know i would PANIC:nervous: :drool: :scream:
 

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common guys he's expected to talk too much, he's been out with injuries ever since the last world cup. he's really eager to win this time and thats very good:D
 
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