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Jun 7, 2011

Brazil win as Ronaldo bows out

Former superstar Ronaldo could not mark his farewell appearance for Brazil with a goal but did manage to go out a winner, courtesy of a goal to Fred against Romania in Sao Paolo.

Ronaldo: O Fenomeno

Brazil boss Mano Menezes handed the striker a 15-minute first-half cameo in recognition of his achievements in the game, including three World Player of the Year awards and two World Cup wins.

He had a couple of opportunities to enter retirement with one last strike but could not match Fred's precision, after the latter scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute.

Neymar created the goal, crossing from the left flank and locating his strike partner, who converted neatly.

With half an hour gone, Menezes gave the fans what they wanted, withdrawing Fred for Ronaldo.

Three minutes later, Neymar found the 34-year-old with another well-directed ball. He got his shot away but Ciprian Tatarusanu was on hand to make the save.

Neymar again fed Ronaldo in the 39th minute, this time unmarked and in a good position. He could not summon his former self and stabbed the ball over the crossbar.

His swansong came to an end when he was taken off at half-time and he was presented with a plaque by the Brazilian Football Confederation during the break.

He told the crowd: "I had chances to score. Sorry for not finishing them correctly. Thanks to all of you for what you did in my career. When I cried, you cried with me. When I smiled, you smiled with me.

"See you soon, but on the sidelines this time. I'm very proud of being Brazilian.''

Romania's best chance to score was a 24th-minute free-kick from Gabriel Muresan that shaved the crossbar.

The second half was a scrappy affair, with neither side creating any clear cut chances.

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