Top 100 World Cup Moments (From the Aussie P.O.V.): 84-Ronaldo Breaks the Goalscoring Record (2006)

By the time the 2006 World Cup had rolled around Ronaldo had turned from the lightning fast striker in need of dental work in to an overweight yet still prolific goal scorer at club level for Real Madrid with 112 goals in 120 games since the 2002 World Cup.

Brazil swaggered in to the 2006 tournament with many expecting them to make it 6 cup wins in a wave of unwarranted fawning. Ronaldo came in to the tournament only 2 goals off Gerd Muller’s long standing record of 14 goals in the World Cup but was now weighing an amazing 104 kilos when his ideal weight was 92. There was also sightings of him and another troubled striker Adriano leaving clubs in the early hours amongst other indiscretions.

1994 cup winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreria ignored the criticism being flung at the big #9 and kept the 29 year old in the starting line up for their third game in the tournament against Japan even with his sub-par efforts against Croatia and Australia to open their campaign. The mocking by the Australians in the stands in Munich when they played was something likened to the Allianz Arena being a massive schoolyard and Ronaldo being the fat kid. We were merciless as he mistimed shots and was literally gut running to chase down balls.

Yet, despite his lack of fitness in Brazil’s meaningless game against Japan with top spot already wrapped up he finally got his act together and put away two well worked goals to equal Muller’s record. This double also meant he became the 20th player to score in three different World Cups.

In the Round of 16 his spot in the team was assured again and in the 4-1 hammering of Ghana in Dortmund he was off the mark early with a goal and the record was quite rightly his. Another record he set was that he was the second player behind Jurgen Klinsmann to score three goals in three different World Cups which is quite a phenomenal feat for any player. Miroslav Klose has since joined these players with that record.

Ronaldo was stopped on a record 15 goals with Brazil meekly surrendering to a Zidane inspired France in the quarter finals. Klose will go close to getting the record in Brazil but for now Ronaldo is still the king with a feat mainly achieved on two knees that wouldn’t look too displaced on an 80 year old thanks to his injury horror in between 1998 and 2002.

Despite his rather ‘interesting’ private life following retirement which has consisted of everything from allegedly soliciting transsexual prostitutes to starring in celebrity versions of the Biggest Loser. Ronaldo should be remembered as a modern great and him attaining the goalscoring record a more than memorable moment.

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.


  1. Peter Fuller says

    I’m loving this exceptional series. Thank you for your fine research. I find myself reliving some great personal memories – some from direct viewing, but often reprises of written accounts (there wasn’t much television access to the WC prior to 1974). However, there are also many of your anecdotes, which I either missed completely, or they have passed through an old man’s sieve-like memory.
    I am reading each of your moments with great interest, and eagerly awaiting every new instalment.

  2. Dennis Gedling says

    Thanks for the kind words Peter. It’s the third time I’ve done it so I guess it’s a bit of a labour of love. Having to cull more and more great stories too as new memories are created.

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