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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 28, 2008

I couldn't have got any fatter, says Ronaldo

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian striker Ronaldo put on so much weight while he was injured this year that he was running out of clothes that fit him, he said on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old free agent has almost fully recovered from a career-threatening knee injury suffered in February and said he had been working hard to get back in shape and still dreamed of a national team recall.

"I couldn't have got any fatter, I was running out of clothes," Ronaldo said in an interview with the Sportv cable television station.

"Everything on the table is nice but it makes you put on weight. Losing weight is the most difficult part."

Ronaldo has been on a rehabilitation programme at Brazilian club Flamengo since August and training with the team.

"I'm making great sacrifices and, yes, I still dream about the national team," said Ronaldo, who has not played for Brazil since the 2006 World Cup where he scored three goals.

"The national team is part of my life, I have an incredible history, of many conquests and also many defeats.

"But to play for Brazil, I have to have a club and play well. I'm not going to be picked on my past or because of my sponsor, as many have said."

Ronaldo ruptured a tendon in his left knee during a Serie A game for AC Milan against Livorno in February and was initially expected to be out for at least nine months.

The striker, who came under fire for appearing to be overweight at the 2006 World Cup, went on to criticise his team's preparations for the tournament in Germany.

Brazil were hot favourites for the title but were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France after a lacklustre campaign.

They spent two weeks warming up for the tournament in the Swiss lakeside village of Weggis, where each training session was watched by a crowd of about 15,000 screaming fans at a specially-constructed arena.

"We had 15 days, a reasonable period of time, but the preparation was a circus," he said. "We didn't have any structure to protect us and it took more than an hour to get to training. There was a lack of organisation.

"Every day, in the morning and in the afternoon, we had 15,000 people shouting in our ears. But I didn't hear anyone say that the preparation sucked. There was no way it could have worked."

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