Legendary footballer, Ronaldo, steps up to help ‘one of England’s worst teams’


A Sunday league football team unveiled the ultimate ringer this weekend – legendary Brazilian striker, Ronaldo. The forward, considered by many to be the greatest to ever play the game, laced up his boots and turned out for Phoenix FC, bottom of the NWL Division 8 in Essex.

Their beleaguered line-up was boosted by the ex-pro, now 47, who came on as a super-sub with his side 4-0 down.

The World Cup winner hung up his boots 13 years ago – but pulled them back on to turn out for “one of the worst teams in England”, after they won a social media competition run by Paddy Power.

Wearing number 17, R9 showed some neat touches at first, taking kick-off with a piece of Brazilian flair – a rabona pass. Unfortunately, even footballing royalty couldn’t turn his team’s fortunes around.

After being caught offside – and on his phone – the superstar was promptly subbed back off by his temporary manager.

Phoenix FC manager, Brian Edwards, said: “The lads couldn’t believe it when Ronaldo showed up – I hadn’t registered him, so used the name “Dave Walsh” and put him on the bench.

“Sadly, he was anything but a Super Sub. He was late by the time he got changed, and we were already well behind by the time I could put him on – but it’s definitely a moment I’ll remember forever. The rest of his performance? Less memorable.”

Ronaldo’s antics in Essex were all part of a scripted social media video released across Paddy Power’s channels, to launch new betting feature Super Sub, which transfers bets when a player is subbed off – and even saw a fan have a Ronaldo hair cut of 1998 for the occasion.

A spokesman for the betting firm said: “They say form is temporary, but having seen him in the flesh, Ronaldo’s post-retirement form does now seem pretty permanent. It happens to us all, R9.”



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