Rio de Janeiro: Real Madrid’s world champion striker Ronaldo has said his dream is to match Brazilian legend Pele’s goal-scoring record for the national side.
Three-time world champion Pele — in 1958, 1962 and 1970 — scored 95 goals in 104 games for Brazil, with two-time world champion Ronaldo netting 46 for the national side.
“Catching up with Pele is an additional goal. I don’t want to be greater than the myth,” said Ronaldo, who completed a fairytale comeback from injury by scoring both goals as the South Americans defeated Germany 2-0 to clinch a record fifth World Cup last year.
He won the world title as a substitute in 1994 but four years later suffered a mysterious seizure just hours before the final against France, yet controversially played anyway as Brazil plunged to a devastating 0-3 defeat.
Ronaldo’s eight World Cup goals in 2002 helped him move level in the World Cup goal-scoring list with Pele, lifting his tally to 12 after the four he had scored at France ’98.
He is also joint-third in the list of World Cup scorers. Germany’s Gerd Muller still leads the way with 14 and Frenchman Just Fontaine is second with 13.
Brazil kick off their campaign in the South American World Cup qualifiers in Colombia on September 7, at Barranquilla, then host Ecuador three days later at home in Manaus.