Rocky is counting the days of his debut in the Brazilian jersey!
The rookie has been called up to the Brazilian national team for the first time. The match in Recife was against Argentina. March 23, 1994—Ronaldo Nazario made his debut for Brazil against arch-rivals. After Ronaldo, who was 17 years 6 months 2 days old, no one has played for Brazil under the age of 18 this century.
Rocky turned 18 on February 28. As such, Ronaldo has no chance to break that record. But another door is open. If he makes his debut against Morocco, the rookie will become the youngest player to debut in the Brazilian jersey this century.
Rocky has the opportunity to debut in Brazil’s jersey as the youngest player after Ronaldo. And the friendly match against Morocco is also the same as Ronaldo’s debut in March – Rocky must be counting the days for the 25th!
Rocky—Some may think of Sylvester Stallone when they hear the name. The movie ‘Rocky’ starring the Hollywood legend in the seventies has a different significance. Stallone wrote the screenplay for this series of fistfight movies. Stallone gave birth to the character of ‘Rocky Balboa’ as an inspiration to wake up young people in the dream of ‘American Dreams’. This Brazilian rookie is also dreaming.
After the retirement of Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, Brazil is looking for a ‘number nine’ like him. Years go by, years come, strikers go, strikers come—but no one matches the mind. No one could instill that confidence in the Brazilians with the ball in the opponent’s box. Richarlison was trusted at the World Cup in Qatar. There was little reward. And Richarlison can’t be called ‘Ronaldo-like’ in terms of playing style and skill. However, dreaming does not stop.
After Diego Maradona’s retirement, almost every season someone like the ‘new Maradona’ comes up in the discussion, so in Brazil, when you see someone with potential in the number 9 jersey, it is said to be the ‘new Ronaldo.’
Rocky inside also has to carry the ‘burden’ of this title. But it is not at all imposed. The talent of the rookie, who has just turned 18, is slowly edging him closer to being one of the greatest strikers of all time. Time will tell how far you can go. But dreams can be seen!
That’s what Brazil is dreaming of after winning the South American Under-20 Championship last February. Under coach Ramon Menezes, Rocky became joint top scorer with 6 goals in the tournament. Menezes then called him for the first squad announcement tomorrow after taking over as the interim coach of the national team. The rest of the way depends on him, i.e. Rocky himself.
In the meantime, some are calling Rocky not only Ronaldo, but also Brazil’s Luis Suarez and Brazil’s Sergio Aguero. Yes, the burden of expectations is getting heavier day by day. But since Rocky won the Under-20 Championship in the No.9 jersey and has a strong body and knife-like legs – the memory of the ‘phenomenon’ comes first.
Ronaldo’s professional career began at Cruzeiro. It is said that all footballers remember the first goal in their professional career. Ronaldo must have remembered the first goal for Cruzeiro at the age of 16? Then Rocky should also remember.
In December 2021, when Ronaldo became the owner of the first club of his career (Cruzeiro), the rookie made his professional football debut for Cruzeiro two months before that. Debut at Cruzeiro at 16 like Ronaldo, first professional career goal at 16 (February 2022)! After that goal, Rocky said, ‘No one forgets the first goal. It feels so good. It is a pleasure for me to be in his (Ronaldo) team.
But Ronaldo may feel bad. It is because of this rookie that the ‘Phenomenon’ has fallen from the list of the five youngest goal scorers in Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro’s ‘Derby’. Just kidding. Who does not like to keep talent! But Ronaldo couldn’t do it. It was in this Cruzeiro that Ronaldo fell in love with him. Later moved to PSV Eindhoven.
Not so with Rocky. Cruzeiro alleges that last year Rocky was lured away from the club by his agent and handed over to Atletico Paranaense. However, the club did not get Rocky for free. 4.4 million euros have to be handed over to Cruzeiro, which is their club-record. 24 million Brazilian Real as the Paranaense set a new release clause.
Rocky started explaining why the release clause figure is so big after six weeks. Recorded the youngest goalscorer for Atlético Paranaense in the league and Copa Libertadores. Due to which he received great praise from Louis Felipe Scolari. ‘Big Phil’ joined Paranains as Technical Director in May last year. He was also in charge of the manager. The coach who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup saw Ronaldo’s best moments up close. Ronaldo lifted the World Cup trophy under him 21 years ago.
Listen to Scolari’s mouth about Rocky’s similarity with that Ronaldo, ‘He can do whatever we tell him. But his best place is number 9. He knows how to play there. can find space. I did not want to face such a number 9 at least in my playing life.
If you remember Ronaldo’s early game at Barcelona or Inter Milan, you can find some similarities. Ronaldo almost made a habit of pulling the ball into the box from midfield before slowing down due to injury. After talking about number 9, Rocky can do this job well as a wide striker. Real Madrid-Barcelona is so chasing.
Rocky’s own desire to join Barcelona. On his 18th birthday, he said this in an interview with the Spanish media “Sport”. Ronaldo himself has shone in Barca for one season, under Sir Bobby Robson, Ronaldo showed himself to the full in that season. Rocky still has a long way to go. But Ronaldo thinks, “The boy will rise very high.”
Just looking at the height of Ronaldo’s career can tell. However, Juvenal, Rocky’s father, has forbidden Brazilians to apply “mustache oil” after seeing the “jackals in the trees”. The comparison with Ronaldo seems to be ‘unreasonable’, he said, ‘There is no explanation. It is absurd. It’s nice to hear a son’s praise from someone who is the best in the world. Everyone says he is on the way to a phenomenon.
Ronaldo’s path is not just success. There are also two gruesome injuries that have kept him out of action for a long time. Rocky inside must know that he went down the road!