Ronaldo wants home comforts at Flamengo

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The Independent Online

The Brazilian striker Ronaldo has revealed he would rather remain in his homeland and earn a contract with Flamengo than join a European club. The three-time Fifa World Player of the Year is on the brink of a return to football after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury sooner than expected.

Ronaldo sustained the injury eight months ago while playing for Milan in Serie A and, since becoming a free agent in the summer, numerous offers have been made for the 32-year-old.

Paris St-Germain are among the European outfits reportedly keen to acquire his services but Ronaldo, who has been training with Flamengo, is hopeful he will be playing for his boyhood club next term. He told the Brazilian Bem Amigos television show: "If everything is ok, I want to stay [at Flamengo].

"I've been in Europe for 16 years. Flamengo are my favourite, but I don't want to play there as a favour. I want to deserve to play there."

Ronaldo, however, revealed he is considering retirement if he cannot get back into top shape. "I could hang up the boots," he said. "If I think I am not fine, I will retire. It's useless if you are physically fit but you are not fast. I already lost some weight but I must lose more."

And the former Barcelona and Real Madrid forward – a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002 – has not given up hope of an international recall. He added: "I am a wounded soldier who is recovering, but not dead. The national team is part of my life. I have big history with it, with a number of titles and defeats. I am making a big sacrifice and I do dream of the national team."

Manchester City have also been linked with a move for Ronaldo, but the manager Mark Hughes has distanced himself from such reports.

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