|Ronaldo's steps to stardom|
|Around the Academy:
Real Madrid and Brazilian superstar and World Player of the Year Ronaldo caught up with our friends at the BBC World Service for an exclusive chat.
When I was growing up as a boy in Rio, I had plenty of dreams about where I wanted my football career to go.
I had many dreams, but I never dreamt it would happen as quickly as it did.
I expected to come to Europe and play for a big European club, but everything in my life has been happening very fast.
When I was 16 I was already a professional with Cruzeiro, a big Brazilian club.
At 17 I was already at the 1994 World Cup - and winning it!
After that I was off to Europe to join Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.
But everything that has happened has been as I expected it to be.
Everything was, and still is, marvellous.
Football has been very kind to me and my family.
It's a very good alternative, and a healthy one, to practise a sport.
You can educate yourself by playing football.
By taking care of your body and health you are acquiring discipline and responsibility.
Football is very important in society.
When I was younger, I was always inspired by Zico, and he was a role model in my life.
He was a great player and a great person, and the one who inspired me to be a football player.