(Skip ahead to 2:40 for the misses he found so funny.)
Four months after he announced his retirement and played his last game for Corinthians, Ronaldo entered Brazil's friendly against Romania in the 30th minute to make his final appearance for the national team. It was understood that he would only play until halftime, so his teammates made it their mission to get him the ball in front of the goal as often as they possibly could in that brief span. And they did.
Five minutes after he came on, Neymar set him up with a perfect ball right in front of goal, but Ronaldo, clearly no longer in playing shape, could only knock it off the keeper. He said beforehand that he knew he would be nervous and his familiar smile after missing a chance that O Fenomeno does not miss showed that probably he was.
Minutes later, Ronaldo was given another clear shot on goal, but this time he blasted it into orbit and, again, couldn't help but release a belly laugh before Robinho gave him a hug. Ronaldo got off one more shot that required a good save to keep out before halftime and proved a goal in his last appearance just wasn't meant to be. That didn't matter, though. He's still Brazil's second all-time leading goal scorer behind Pele and the man with the most goals in World Cup history.
Once the whistle blew for the break, Ronaldo was honored with a short ceremony with his two sons at his side and trotted into the tunnel. Brazil would win 1-0 thanks to a goal from Fred in the 21st minute, which the team celebrated by doing Ronaldo's famous finger wag.
Here are some photos:
And finally, here's a great video from Nike that compares the world Before Ronaldo to the world After Ronaldo.
Whether you watched the video or not, it should be obvious that Ronaldo made it much, much better. Except for influencing those kids to get that haircut.
Photos: Getty, Reuters, AP