Ronaldo scored his first goal as a Corinthians starter on Wednesday, leading his new team to a 2-1 win over Sao Caetano in the 13th round of the Sao Paulo state football championship.
Ronaldo played 76 minutes in his third match since undergoing major knee surgery more than a year ago after sustaining an injury with AC Milan.
Ronaldo also played 31 minutes last on Sunday when Corinthians drew 1-1 against rival Palmeiras. One week ago, he played 28 minutes against Itumbiara in the Brazilian Cup.
Sao Caetano defender Iran opened the scoring with a header in the 22nd minute before Corinthians defender Andre Santos scored the equalizer thirteen minutes later with a powerful shot that sent the ball barreling into the upper left corner of the net. Corinthians striker Jorge Henrique outwitted and outran several Sao Caetano players before sending the ball over to a waiting Ronaldo, who scored the winning goal in the 50th minute. When Ronaldo was replaced by Escudero, the 30,000-strong crowd at Sao Paulo's Pacaembu stadium gave him a standing ovation. Ronaldo, the all-time leading World Cup scorer with 15 goals, is trying to come back from a third serious knee surgery. In 1999, he tore up his right knee with Inter Milan and needed surgery, and a year later he twisted the same knee and was sidelined for several months after another surgery.
The striker recovered, however, helping Brazil win its fifth world title in 2002 at South Korea and Japan with two of his eight goals coming in the final against Germany.
Corinthians is now in second place in the standings with 29 points, one point behind Palmeiras who on drew 1-1 against Ituano on Wednesday.
In other games Marilia downed Guarani 2-1; Santo Andre defeated Mogi Mirim 4-0; Portuguesa beat Guaratingueta 1-0; Noroeste defeated Ponte Preta 3-1; and Barueri beat Bragantino 2-1. On Tuesday, Oeste and Botafogo drew 1-1.
In the Rio de Janeiro state championship, Madureira beat Macae 2-1; Fluminense defeated Volta Redonda 2-1; Friburguense downed Tigres 2-1; and Flamengo beat Duque de Caxias 4-2.