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By ESPN Staff
May 29, 2006

Ronaldo insists: I'm not fat

WEGGIS, May 29 (Reuters) - Brazil striker Ronaldo says that continued speculation about his weight is created by lack of knowledge and by the media having nothing better to talk about.

The Phenomenal One endured a frustrating season at Real Madrid, puncuated by a series of minor injuries and suggestions that was fighting a losing battle against the flab.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest," said Ronaldo, who has already been named in Brazil's starting line-up for their opening world Cup match against Croatia on June 13.

"I think it's all down to a lack of knowledge. After all, what is fat," he said, looking in the direction of a group of radio reporters amid laughter.

"People have been talking about it for so long that nowadays I just take it as a joke.

"Nobody ever takes about exact numbers, about the percentage of fat. It's down to a lack of knowledge, a lack of information and a lack of something better to talk about."

Ronaldo, 29, has not played a competitive game since April 8, when he limped out of Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad with an injury to his right thigh.

He has taken part in Brazil's training as usual and says he only needs to win back match fitness.

"This is like a pre-season for me, I'm coming back from injury and I haven't played for one and a half months," he said. "I'm very happy and I'm getting on with my job."

Ronaldo, who will be taking part at his fourth World Cup, finished as topscorer in 2002 with eight goals as Brazil won an unprecedented fifth world title.

He also scored four goals in 1998, but refused to set himself a target for Germany.

"It's very difficult to make a forecast like that," he said.

"The principal target is the collective triumph.... to help Brazil win a sixth World Cup. My personal success takes a back seat."

"In any case, if I score goals, I'll be helping Brazil to win the title."