LaLiga: Ronaldo buys controlling stake in Real Valladolid

Former Brazilian striker Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, known during his playing days as Ronaldo, has re-entered the world of professional football with an unexpected purchase: he acquired a controlling stake in Spanish top-flight club Real Valladolid. The 42-year-old former player now controls 51% of the shares of the club and his name could attract high-profile sponsors and even better players at struggling Valladolid. They are currently 16th in the LaLiga table after having collected two draws and one loss so far this season. They have not finished in the top half of the LaLiga table since the 1999/2000 season and now they will have to fight to avoid relegation after having just gotten promoted at the end of last season.

"The arrival of Ronaldo puts Real Valladolid on the map and will allow the club to take a leap in quality," said Real Valladolid president Carlos Suarez. The Brazilian has played for the biggest European clubs during his illustrious career, including Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Barcelona. He has scored an amazing total of 352 goals in all club competitions and has also delivered 62 goals in 98 appearances for the Brazilian national team. He has won the FIFA World Cup twice, the Copa America twice, two LaLiga titles and the Ballon d'Or on two occasions.

"I have gone through many stages in my training in football to prepare," Ronaldo said at a news conference on Monday. "Football is a passion. This new management will be defined by four words: competitiveness, transparency, revolution and social. We want to grow and reach where our will allows us. I assure you that you will find me as a lover of Castilla-Leon, Valladolid and Real Valladolid." Since retiring from football in 2011, Ronaldo has become involved in motorsport group A1 Team Brazil and sports marketing firm 9INE. He has also acquired shares in North American Soccer League club Fort Lauderdale Strikers and founded the Ronaldo Academy, a youth football school which operates in the United States and China.

Real Valladolid are 7/4 at Bet365 to get relegated from LaLiga this season.

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