Ronaldo chose to play

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RONALDO IS still baffled by the illness that wrecked his World Cup final and kept the conspiracy theorists busy for weeks.

Back in Milan to play for Internazionale after six weeks on holiday, Ronaldo recalled the hours leading up to Paris final against France on 12 July. "Before the game I went to eat, then I went back to my room and was a bit tired so I slept," he said at a news conference at Inter's headquarters. "When I got up I felt pain in my body. I felt bad."

Ronaldo was rushed to hospital where doctors said he should not play. "I was very angry because I wanted to play at all costs and I asked them if I could do tests," he said.

"I did all the tests, I got to the stadium just in time and I played. I was the one who said I wanted to play. The doctors told me I couldn't but after all the tests I decided to play. I thought only of winning the World Cup."

Ronaldo performed poorly in the match, which Brazil lost 3-0, sparking speculation about why he was allowed to play.