'Off-field distractions holding back Ronaldo' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Off-field distractions holding back Ronaldo'

"Ronaldo has proved to be a good player with all those titles, but he tends to lose his way," said Brazilian soccer great Pele.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 11:38 IST

Pele says Ronaldo's off-field issues have held back his career.



"Ronaldo has proved to be a good player with all those titles, but he tends to lose his way," said the Brazilian soccer great and FIFA ambassador, who was appearing Monday at promotional event for the 2006 World Cup.

"He could have been a better player had he not been affected by troubles off the pitch," Pele added, describing Ronaldo's personal life as "so confused."

Ronaldo helped Brazil win the World Cup and has been voted world player of the year three times and European player of the year twice. He has 94 goals in 143 appearances for his Spanish team Real Madrid.

Yet, the 29-year-old has recently drawn controversy for saying he was considering leaving Madrid because he was unappreciated by the team's fans. He also called off a wedding last year to MTV Brazil host Daniella Cicarelli just two months after throwing a lavish party for more than 200 guests at France's Chantilly castle to celebrate their engagement.

Pele was quoted by the English-language Shanghai Daily as urging Ronaldo to be patient with fans, and warned that changing teams at this stage in his career could be tricky.

"He may find a better new environment, but age is also not on his side," said Pele, a FIFA ambassador.