Xtratime Community banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

37,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From soccernet.

If any of you guys ever go to Brazil.....do try the Maracuja juice...it's the best juice of the [email protected];) :D :cool:

Ronaldo's mum the toast of Rio
Peter Jackson in Rio de Janeiro

EXCLUSIVE: Shortly after five o'clock yesterday morning, Sonia Nazario de Lima wrapped herself in a Brazilian flag and slapped the dining table to the beat of the song booming out around her.

Ronaldo: Mother's pride (Reuters)
The girls from neighbouring Ipanema and what seemed like the rest of the beautiful people from the glitzy suburbs had booked themselves an all-night party along with the family of the country's most famous footballer and their words said it all: Chegando a hora, Inglaterra (The end has come, England).

When the chanting finally subsided, Sonia accepted the gratitude of the multitude at The Big Bull restaurant and wept tears of joy. Life for Ronaldo's mother may be paradise compared to how it used to be, but it can still be a nerve-racking, soul- destroying business, never more so than when Michael Owen scored.

Rarely can one man have had such a gob-smacking, albeit fleeting effect on the largest country in Latin America. The fans slumped forward agape and aghast and

Sonia was no different, clasping her head in her hands with the haunted look of someone afraid that the English were about to afflict the family with more World Cup grief.

Four years ago there had been all that mysterious business surrounding her son's appearance, or non-appearance as it transpired, when France gave Brazil the runaround at the last final. Now this.

'I felt very sad and very worried,' she said. 'It wasn't looking good but I always knew we would win.'

She had said as much the previous afternoon amid the palm-treed opulence of the high-security villa which her 25-year-old son gave her for Mother's Day three years ago, a present now worth £350,000.

But for more than 20 minutes very early yesterday morning, she had to endure the threat that it would all end in tears again and at times some members of the family entourage could not bear to look.

They all sat there in No.9 Ronaldo shirts, with the player's father Nelio at an adjoining table. Around them, agitated voices derided David Beckham as 'a clown' for falling in the penalty area, which was a bit rich considering Rivaldo's absurd histrionics moments later.

As England threatened to turn it all into a crying shame until Rivaldo turned the tide, Sonia, sipping maracuja, a fruit juice said to soothe the nerves, must have wondered why she had tempted fate by packing her bags for Japan and Wednesday's semi-final. She leaves today.

'The suitcases were not ready for nothing,' she said. 'I packed them on Thursday so there would be no last-minute rush. You see, I knew we would win and now I think Ronaldo is saving the next goal for the final.'

Never before had Brazil been obliged to stir itself at such an ungodly hour and the longest night of Mama Ronaldo's life ended at the crack of dawn as the sun rose behind the statue of Christ standing sentinel over the city.

By then Sonia, her partner Ayrton, 13 years her junior at 39, and her ex were all convinced that nothing will deny them their crowning glory a week tomorrow.

Yet, if it hadn't been for his mother, the world would probably never have heard of Ronaldo. Instead of fame and fortune on a scale staggering even by English standards, he would have been hard pushed to avoid a grim existence in a grimy area of Rio considered so dangerous that taxi-drivers refuse to go there at night.

Reaching Ramos, for example, where he first played football under 'Fat Fernando', the coach who reputedly discovered him, meant going through an area so far on the wrong side of the tracks that a drugs baron is reported to have threatened any prying police helicopter with a missile attack.

When her husband left her, Ronaldo's mother got a job as a waitress. On a good week, she earned about £20, enough ultimately to buy the youngest of her three children his first pair of football boots. Even then, he had to wait until he was eight to get them.

'As a child, Ronaldo suffered very much,' she said. 'He had many difficulties to overcome because life was very hard. He didn't have any toys when he was a child and he didn't have any nice clothes, only the football boots . . . but he did have the love of his parents and relatives.

'I had to go out to work and leave the children with relatives. I worked 12 hours a day and I did it with a smile because that's what you do in Brazil. We lived in a poor neighbourhood with a lot of crime but Ronaldo was never involved in any trouble.

'When he was five or six, he told me that he was going to be a soldier because he wanted to serve his country. Then he fell in love with football and now he is serving his country in an even better way, bringing happiness to so many.

'What he has got today, he deserves because he has suffered so much. His heart is as pure now as when he was a child. He helps many children through the Cancer Institute in Brazil and works for other charities set up for poor kids in different countries.

'When he started to be serious about football, he told me that he would be famous and that one day he would help to make my life more comfortable. Before the England match, he said to me, "Don't be worried. Be calm because we are going to give everyone in Brazil a big present. We are going to win".'

The final, if Brazil get there, will give him the chance to exorcise the demons, or whatever it was that caused him to flee home to his mother in a flood of tears from the final in Paris. He could even win the Golden Boot as top goalscorer - at present he, team-mate Rivaldo and Germany's Miroslav Klose have all scored five.

'They said various things after the 1998 final but Ronaldo has never had any problems with his health,' said Sonia. 'I cried a lot then but now I smile all the time. God is always watching over us but now I'm certain He is watching over us for the World Cup as well.'

One Rio newspaper's special edition captured a similar theme on England with a headline which read: 'Not even the Queen could save them.'
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.