On Valentine's Day 2011 Brazil legend Ronaldo decided to call time on the most illustrious of careers. At 34 he decided his body could no longer take the strain of professional sport as he closed the chapter on his time in football. He will be remembered as one of the all-time greats and here, skysports.com charts his rise from Rio to becoming the world's best player in his peak.
1976: Born Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, September 22 in Bento Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro.
1990: Signs his first professional contract with Brazilian minnows Social Ramos.
1991: Joins Sao Cristovao where he scores 35 goals in 54 games.
1993: Moves to Brazilian top-flight club Cruzeiro and nets 58 goals in 60 games.
1994: March - makes international debut in the 2-1 win over South American rivals Argentina.
Part of the Brazil squad that wins World Cup in the United States, although he does not feature.
Joins Dutch side PSV Eindhoven for £4million, scoring three goals in the opening two games.
1995: Finishes season as the Eredivisie's top scorer with 30 goals.
1996: Named FIFA World Footballer of the Year.
Joins Spanish side Barcelona for £10million after scoring 42 in 43 league games for PSV.
1997: Wins FIFA World Footballer of the Year award again, becoming the only player to win the award in two successive seasons, named European Footballer of the Year by France Football and wins European Cup-Winners Cup in tense final against former club PSV.
Joins Italian giants Inter Milan for £19million after scoring 34 goals in 37 league games for Barca.
1998: Scores in Inter's 3-0 win over Lazio in the UEFA Cup final and finishes the season with 34 goals in 47 games.
July - Suffers from mysterious illness just hours before Brazil's World Cup final clash against France in Paris. A clearly-shaken Ronaldo plays regardless, as a below-par Brazil side lose 3-0 to the hosts.
September - Suffers knee injury which restricts him to only a handful of appearances over the next four years.
2002: June - Scores both goals in the World Cup final as Brazil beat Germany 2-0. Also tournament's top scorer with eight goals.
August 31 - Ronaldo signs for Real Madrid, barely an hour before transfer window closes.
December 16 - Named winner of European Football of the Year award for the second time. Becomes first player to win FIFA World Player of the Year on three occasions.
2003: April 23 - Scores hat-trick in Real's Champions League quarter-final second leg with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Real lose 4-3 on the night but go through to set up a semi-final double-header against Juventus, which they lose.
2004: March - Agrees two-year contract extension with Real.
2006: Despite being criticised for his conditioning, Ronaldo scores three goals at the World Cup finals in Germany to break Gerd Muller's finals scoring record. Brazil are eliminated by France in the quarter-finals.
2007: January - Joins Serie A giants AC Milan on 18-month contract after falling out of favour with Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello.
February - Scores two and sets one up in his first start for Milan, a 4-3 win over Siena.
2008: February - Suffers the third serious knee injury of his career. He goes on to be released when his contract expires in the summer without playing another game.
December - Signs for Corinthians.
2009: Helps his new side win the Copa do Brasil and a place in the Copa Libertadores.
2011: February 14 - Announces his retirement from football.