What if: Ronaldo never got injured?
In this section, we give alternate endings to memorable moments in sports and imagine how it would have impacted the present.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all time, Brazil's Ronaldo Nazario, also known as 'O Fenomeno' or R9 had a sparkling career badly stunted by injuries.
On 21 November, 1999 he suffered a horrific knee injury, and even though he was able to recover and win the World Cup in 2002 and score goals regularly, he was not the same devastating force and suffered a string of injuries that cut his career short.
Before the injury, R9 was breaking all sorts of goalscoring records in the world's top-level clubs like PSV, Barcelona, and Inter.
He won the Ballon D'or at the age of just 21 and became the youngest-ever winner of the coveted award - a record that is yet to be broken.
But what would have happened if Ronaldo never suffered those injuries? How different would his legacy have been?
A Champions League trophy
R9 is one of those unlucky players who never won the Uefa Champions League. Ronaldo was a part of the famous Galactico transfer of Real Madrid.If he had his prime form at that moment he could've won the UCL with Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are both holders of many individual awards. Ronaldo has five Ballons d'Or whereas Messi has six. They dominated the 2010's and most of the time have been the top two goal scorers each year. But in a short period R9 also won two Ballons d'Or, a Fifa World Cup Golden Ball award, a Fifa World Cup Golden Boot, and a load of top-scorer awards in tournaments such as the Copa Libertadores, La Liga, the Copa America and the World Cup. If he didn't get injured and maintained the form he had early on in his career, he would have won a lot more awards and could have been the most decorated football player of all time.
He'd be the GOAT
When it comes to the topic of 'The Greatest Of All Time' (GOAT) most will say that it's Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. Some will say it's Pele or Diego Maradona; or some may even argue that it's Zinedine Zidane or Johan Cruyff. But some like Jose Mourinho still believes that R9 is the best player they have ever seen play the game of football and Jose is not alone. Even after a career full of injuries, R9 is the second-highest goalscorer in World Cup history and the second-highest goalscorer for a nation like Brazil. If he was fit throughout his whole career he would have won more, scored more, and won more trophies, and we might never have had the debate of the greatest football player of all time.