Book Review – Ronaldo! King Of The World

Ronaldo! King Of The World by Wensley Clarkson

This book reminds me why I like autobiographies compared to a writer analysing a subject.

If you want to know more about Ronaldo’s early years and relive his struggles from the World Cup 1998 then this could be for you.

Getting into the book I became instantly aware that the author (Wensley Clarkson) seemed to enjoy the gossip and the salacious side of a young Ronaldo. He likes to get into the murky side of the football industry, which can be quite telling once you realise Ronaldo was essential sold off to two agents as a young teen. Wensley also seems to enjoy learning more about the Brazilian forward’s love life going from a nervous youngster into a top professional footballer who could pull models. I quickly googled the author and wasn’t surprised to see he mainly focuses on true crime stories.

It is interesting to see how Ronaldo was so dependent on his mother even after he became a worldwide phenomenon, although it’s not surprising as he had to grow up so quickly and without proper guidance in so many ways.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy learning more about my footballing hero, I did, but at times you want confirmation from the man himself. I also felt that Mr Clarkson glossed over a few footballing highlights. The year at Barcelona all seems to be doom and gloom without focussing too much on the goal laden part of it. While Ronaldo’s sensational UEFA Cup final performance against Lazio for Inter was condensed down to one sentence.

The big focus and most of the book builds towards the summer of 98′ in France. It does take you back to that time and you start to remember just how big Ronaldo was at that time and then remember he was just twenty-one!

The redemption story of 2002 is covered but it’s rushed compared to 1998 and that didn’t really sit well with me.

It leaves you wanting Ronaldo to bring out an extensive autobiography but it’s worth a read for anyone who wants to relive Brazil’s failure at France 98′ and get a feeling of just how much pressure Ronaldo was under during that period.

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