| Ronaldo leaving the team hotel’s gymnasium in Koenigstein. (AFP)
Koenigstein, June 15: Memories of the mystery illness that made Ronaldo leaden-footed in the 1998 World Cup final revisited Brazil and its fans as the striker complained that he was feeling unwell, a day after a similar frozen performance against Croatia on Tuesday.
This morning, however, Ronaldo had a muscle training session and said he felt fine.
“Ronaldo is fine. He just felt a bit dizzy, nothing serious,” said Rodrigo Paiva, a spokesman for the Brazil football federation.
The Brazilian medical team whisked him off to a Frankfurt hospital.
“He was taken to the clinic for tests and everything was OK. He was taken to the clinic just as a precaution,” Paiva added.
“The results of the tests showed right away that there was nothing wrong with him.”
The 29-year-old star, whose inspirational play in the last World Cup brought Brazil the trophy, lumbered around the pitch against Croatia in his team’s first match in the championship, struggling to control the simplest of passes.
Former Brazil striker Tostao described the performance as “weird”. Other critics said the champions had played with 10 men.
“I felt quite sick during the day off (Wednesday) and at about three ’clock in the afternoon the doctor decided to take me to hospital just to make sure there was no serious illness or anything,” Ronaldo said today.
“I went to hospital and did a series of tests. They didn’t find anything abnormal.
“Today I feel fine. I feel fairly relaxed. It’s nothing serious. I’ve been treated. Today I had a session in the gymnasium and I’m just thinking about the game against Australia.”
Ronaldo was taken off to a chorus of jeers in the 69th minute and replaced by Robinho against Croatia.
“To be sincere I wasn’t happy in my performance against Croatia but the most important thing was that we won,” Ronaldo said.
Leonardo, a member of the Brazil team who played with Ronaldo in the disastrous 1998 final, has written: “He is not in very good physical condition' I am not party to the exact reason, but I am convinced that it is some sort of undetected ailment.
“This was borne out by his slow movement (against Croatia) and the fact that he is finding turning and twisting very difficult.”
One Brazilian columnist compared him to a “wobbling heavyweight, staggering around the pitch as if what was going on around had nothing to do with him”.
On Sunday, Ronaldo can silence them as Brazil plays Australia. “In the next game I hope to do things a bit better,” he said.