Ronaldo has finally silenced his critics by scoring two goals against Japan. The feat leaves him just one goal away from becoming the top World Cup goal scorer of all time.
A neat header and a fine curling shot on the turn dispelled any notion about the days of the 29-year-old Real Madrid striker being over.
His contribution in the 4-1 win in Dortmund took him to 14 World Cup goals, and the striker is now level with German "bomber" Gerd Muller.
"I have been very patient. You have to keep working and not lose heart," said the superstar, who added that the support of his family "has carried me through the bad times," including another injury-ravaged season.
"I came to the finals in a much worse physical condition than my teammates, but I feel better and better," he enthused after moving past Pele's Brazilian record of 12 World Cup goals to delight coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.
"Ronaldo is getting better and better. He is a very special player," Parreira beamed, while Pele congratulated Ronaldo on his achievement.
"That will have been a weight off his shoulders," said Pele.
The star had cut an almost pitiful figure when he arrived in Germany after an injury-ravaged season with Real.
His lack of match fitness was compounded by a visible battle to keep his weight under control.