MrV - Indeed you are correct. I stand corrected.
Ronaldo adds World Player of the Year to European award
Ronaldo completed a clean sweep of football's end-of-year awards when he was named the FIFA 2002 World Player of the Year for the third time.
Winner in 1996 and 1997, the Brazilian striker scooped France Football's Ballon d'Or award for the European Footballer of the Year on Monday and was honoured last week as World Soccer magazine's player of 2002.
In fewer games than most professionals manage to cram into a couple of months of the season, Ronaldo forced his way to the head of the queue for the prestigious awards.
In fact Ronaldo's "year" effectively boils down to a sensational month at the World Cup, a sparkling debut for his new club Real Madrid and the opening goal in their World Club Cup victory.
It would have been unjust to his fellow professionals to bestow the European and World honours on the 26-year-old from Rio de Janeiro if they were claimed to be a reward for performances over the course of the year.
But if it comes down to global impact then there could only be one choice - the shaven-headed Brazilian known to millions simply as "The Phenomenon".
In a fairy-tale ending to three years of injury-plagued misery Ronaldo confirmed his rebirth as a player with a stellar performance on the world's greatest footballing stage in South Korea and Japan.
His eight goals in seven games, including a magical double in the 2-0 victory over Germany in the final, marked the difference between Brazil and their rivals in what was one of the most evenly-balanced World Cups in living memory.
His match-winning performance allowed him to lay to rest the ghosts of France 98 when he played in the final just hours after suffering a mystery illness in the team hotel.
Looking dazed and lethargic he made a negligible contribution as Brazil lost 3-0 to a French side inspired by Zinedine Zidane.
Brazil's record-breaking fifth title will be remembered as Ronaldo's World Cup in the same way that their 1970 triumph was associated with his predecessor Pele, whose total of 12 World Cup goals The Phenomenon has now equalled.
Ronaldo may not quite have recovered the explosive pace of his year at Barcelona, but it is testament to his skill and natural brilliance that even while not totally fit he was head and shoulders above other strikers in the tournament.
It may also be an indication of the rigours of the footballing calendar, that a semi-fit player emerging from three years of career-threatening injury was able to outshine a host of exhausted professionals who arrived at the tournament with up to 60 games under their belts in 12 months.
Ronaldo, however, remains perfectly adapted to lead football's highly-competitive food chain.
He still has a burst of speed that few can match, a dizzying shimmy that bemuses even the best defenders and a rocket-powered shot that fired him to fame in the mid-1990s.
As if his performance in South Korea and Japan was not enough, Ronaldo then became the leading protagonist in the transfer saga of the summer, a tale with more twists than the best Brazilian soap opera.
Whether he was anxious to banish the memories of five injury-plagued years at Inter, or was keen to escape the confines of Italian football, or just simply unable to hack the egalitarian regime of coach Hector Cuper, Ronaldo instructed his agents to get him away from the Serie A club.
He was, of course, welcomed with open arms by European champions Real Madrid, eager to complete their glittering centenary team with the brightest jewel in world football.
Ronaldo's move to Real certainly smacked of ingratitude given that Inter had supported him throughout his odyssey of injuries and continued to pay his reported salary of 4.5 million euros ($4.60 million) without so much as a whisper of complaint.
Even after the convoluted transfer was completed - minutes before the European transfer deadline on August 31 - Ronaldo continued to hog the headlines as he battled against a series of niggling injuries that delayed his debut for his new club.
It was more than a month before he made his first appearance for Real, although true to form he scored with almost his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute against Alaves and even grabbed another before the 5-2 rout was complete.
Two months later and after just a handful of appearances he made a triumphant return to the Yokohama stadium - the venue for the World Cup final - and scored the opening goal in Real's 2-0 win over South American champions Olimpia of Paraguay in the World Club Cup.
Ronaldo was named man-of-the-match even though many commentators believed team mate Luis Figo had turned in the better performance.
But the Brazilian is a marketing man's dream.
He scores his goals in the right places and in front of the right television audiences, his face is recognised in every continent, he collects footballing awards like small change and he hails from the world's most productive football nation.
Ronaldo appears to have it all and yet question marks still remain. Is he capable of surviving the rigours of a full season at a club with both European and domestic commitments or will he spend as much time on the treatment table as on the field?
Can he actually help Real win the league title, a feat he never managed at Barcelona or Inter, and can he add a missing European Cup winners medal to the Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup medals already in his collection?
Whatever the doubts about the future, one thing is clear - Ronaldo is the undisputed comeback king of 2002.
2002 FIFA World Player of the Year
1st - Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Bra)
2nd - Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich/Ger)
3rd - Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid/Fra)
2002 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year
1st - Mia Hamm (Washington Freedon/USA)
2nd - Birgit Prinz (Carolina Courage/Ger)
3rd - Sun Wen (Atlanta Beat/Chn)
FIFA Centennial Trophy - Real Madrid
FIFA Fair Play Trophy - South Korea and Japan
FIFA Team of the Year - Brazil
FIFA Mover of the Year - Senegal
2002 World Cup Golden Ball (best player) - Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich/Ger)
2002 World Cup Silver Ball - Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Bra)
2002 World Cup Bronze Ball - Hong Myung-Bo (Pohang Steelers/Kor)
2002 World Cup Golden Shoe (top scorer) - Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Bra)
2002 World Cup Silver Shoe - Rivaldo (Milan/Bra) and Miroslav Klose (Kaiserslauten/Ger)
2002 World Cup Best Goalkeeper - Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich/Ger)
2002 World Cup Fair Play Award - Belgium
2002 World Cup Most Entertaining Team - South Korea