Ronaldo announced his retirement on February 14, 2011 in a tearful press conference in Sao Paulo featuring the following reflections:
“I am here to say that I’m ending my career as a professional player. And to say that this career was beautiful, wonderful and exciting.”
“Everybody knows my history of injury. I have had in recent years, a string of injuries ranging from one side to another, from one leg to another, from one muscle to another. This pain made me anticipate the end of my career. Furthermore, four years ago I discovered, when I was in Milan, that I have hypothyroidism. It is a disorder that slows the metabolism and to control it, it is necessary to take some hormones banned in football, because they can be consider doping. I imagine that a lot of people should be sorry for making mockery about my weight, but I do not keep hard feelings. “
“I had many losses, infinite victories, made a lot of friends and don’t remember having made an enemy.”
“I want to thank all the players who worked with me and those who played against, and those who were loyal to those who were disloyal. Thank the coaches with whom I had good relationship and I had differences. And also thank the sponsors who have always believed in me.”
“I really never imagined that I would live without Corinthians. I want to thank the President, and publicly ask for forgiveness for weakening the Libertadores project. You are my brother. The history was beautiful and marvelous. I want to stay with and connected to the club in whatever way you want, President.”
"It's very hard to leave something that made me so happy. Mentally, I wanted to continue, but I have to acknowledge that I lost [the fight] to my body."
"With this announcement, it feels like it's my first death."
"The pain made me anticipate the end of my career. It hurts when I go up the stairs -- people who are close to me know this. I've given my life to football. I don't regret anything, but I can't keep going."
"I thought about it at home and realized that it was time. I had given everything that I had."