Ronaldo urges Brazil stars toward Europe
By Football News
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo feels the decision to move to Europe at an early age was beneficial to his career.
The dual Ballon d'Or winner left his native Brazil for Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven at just 17 years of age before going on to represent Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Speaking at the Soccerex conference in Rio de Janiero, Ronaldo said the early move helped him grow as a person as well as a footballer.
"This is very good," Ronaldo said of young players departing Brazil for Europe at a young age. "The possibility of living in Europe really transforms any football player into real men.
"Mainly the Brazilian football player, who has the chance to play in Europe. He will have a great opportunity, both cultural, educational and in sport to learn as much as possible.
"I think I learned a lot and was really dedicated to hold as much information as I could in Europe. It was fantastic learning.
"I lived in Europe for 18 years, so I can affirm that for me, any university in the world would teach everything I learned playing football there."
Brazil has continued to produce world-class players regularly and the latest player destined for greatness is Santos striker Neymar.
The 20-year-old, a target for some of Europe's leading clubs including Barcelona and Chelsea, has been urged by Ronaldo to leave his homeland.
"Yes, I would recommend (Neymar moving to Europe)," Ronaldo said.
"Well, apart from conquering the world of football, 'sport' speaking, it's a huge cultural learning opportunity that the player can have and is an opportunity that he shouldn't miss."
Mano Menezes, who coached Ronaldo at Corinthians prior to becoming head coach of Brazil, was relieved of his national team duties on Friday.
And Ronaldo says the timing of the decision is quite concerning with the 2014 World Cup on the horizon.
"Of course, like any fan, we get worried about this instability in the Brazilian team," the 36-year-old said. "We are a little less than a year-and-a-half from the World Cup.
"Next year we have the Confederations Cup and we're waiting for the announcement of the new Brazilian coach."