“The head wants to go on but the body can’t take any more,” said the 34-year-old. “I think of an action but I can’t do it the way I want to. It’s time to go.”
In honour of one of football’s greatest all-round strikers, The Sport Review takes a look back at five of the greatest moments of his glittering career.
1) Incredible solo goal against Compostela
Our first clip comes from way back in 1996. Here, the Brazilian displays some of his best attributes as a promising youngster by out-pacing and out-powering six opposition defenders before ending the move with a clinical finish.
2) Winning the 2002 World Cup
Ronaldo banished any lingering memories of the 1998 World Cup final defeat to France by firing Brazil to the trophy in 2002. The forward won the tournament’s golden boot with eight goals, including both strikes in the final against Germany.
3) Hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford
The failure to win a Champions League winners’ medal is the only blotch on Ronaldo’s otherwise perfect CV. The 2002-03 campaign was the closest Ronaldo came to Champions League glory. Real Madrid were defeated by Juventus in the semi-final and Ronaldo was denied a glorious return to Old Trafford where he had produced one of his greatest displays earlier in the tournament with a breathtaking hat-trick against Manchester United.
4) Breaking Gerd Muller’s World Cup record
RonaldoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strike against Ghana in the second round of the 2006 World Cup saw him surpass German legend Gerd Muller as the all-time World Cup leading goalscorer in the competition. Ronaldo played in four consecutive World Cups, scoring 15 goals.
5) Firing Corinthians to the 2009 Campeonato Paulista
Ronaldo returned to Brazil in 2009 when he joined Corinthians. He had an immediate impact, scoring 23 goals in 38 appearances, helping the Brazilian side to the 2009 Campeonato Paulista title.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news