RIO DE JANEIRO — Ronaldo, widely considered one of the world’s best soccer players, is making the difference in the free-to-air nets’ fight for ratings in soccer-obsessed Brazil.
The 32-year-old star, who plays for Sao Paulo-based Corinthians, has been out of the game for a year due to injuries suffered at his old club, Italian giant AC Milan.
His March 4 comeback against Itumbiara, which Corinthians won 2-0, scored TV Globo an average rating of 30 points, a high this year for a Wednesday show — even though Ronaldo put in only a brief appearance.
He was on the Corinthians team that played Palmeiras on the afternoon of March 8, a Sunday, and TV Globo again trashed the opposition with an average rating of 25 points and an average share of 48%.
The player, now looking distinctly heavier than in his glory days, has disproved the many sportscasters who had written off his career.
Whether or not he makes a difference on the pitch — Ronaldo scored the equalizing goal in the 1-1 tie with Palmeiras — he is a sure-fire winner for TV.