Brazilian president exchanges passes with Ronaldo

SAO PAULO - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva exchanged a few head passes with Ronaldo after meeting the striker to congratulate him and his Corinthians' teammates on winning the traditional Sao Paulo state title.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) and Corinthians striker Ronaldo pose with a Corinthians jersey during a meeting in Sao Paulo May 12, 2009. (Agencies)
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) and 
Corinthians striker Ronaldo pose with a Corinthians 
jersey during a meeting in Sao Paulo May 12, 2009. 

"Imagine if (Brazil coach) Dunga sees this," Silva joked after the exchange Tuesday at his Sao Paulo office, TV Globo's G1 Web site reported.

Silva, a Corinthians fan, had a closed meeting with Ronaldo, team captain William, coach Mano Menezes and some club directors. The Brazilian leader was given an autographed jersey.

"When Corinthians is playing, be certain that I'm watching," Silva was quoted as saying.

Corinthians won its record 26th Sao Paulo state title on May 3 after an unbeaten run.

Silva has praised Ronaldo for his successful return to competitive football after spending more than a year off the pitch recovering from the third serious knee injury of his career. A three-time FIFA player of the year, Ronaldo has scored 10 goals in 13 matches since his return in March.

Ronaldo and the other Corinthians' members left the team's afternoon practice and headed to Silva's Sao Paulo office in a helicopter.

Silva and Ronaldo attracted a lot of media attention before the 2006 World Cup when the president said Ronaldo was too fat, and Ronaldo answered by talking about Silva's drinking habits.

Last week, Ronaldo received a visit from actor Hugh Jackman, who was in Brazil promoting the movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: China Daily