Ronaldo joins Brazil's WCup organizing committee


Associated Press

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Former Brazil striker Ronaldo will be one of the three members on the country's 2014 World Cup organizing committee.

Ronaldo said Thursday he had accepted an invitation to be part of the committee, which will also include Brazilian football federation President Ricardo Teixeira one other member that has yet to be appointed.

The 34-year-old Ronaldo, who retired in February, said he will be the "voice" of the committee and will not receive a salary.

"I have accepted this big challenge, which for me is a big honor," Ronaldo said. "This World Cup does not belong to FIFA, nor to the (Brazilian federation), the committee or the government. It belongs to the people who should be made to feel proud of hosting the World Cup.

"I will do my best to create the best World Cup ever."

The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year said he initially hesitated to be part of the committee because it was a high-risk position, but that he later reconsidered because he wanted "to help the people feel proud."

"I decided to face the challenge and I knew that I could become the target of criticism and mistrust and run the risk of throwing a history of success and credibility out the window," he said.

After he retired, Ronaldo founded "9ine," a sports marketing firm whose clients include Santos striker Neymar, and mixed martial arts star Anderson Silva. Ronaldo said his work with his company will not interfere with his job on the committee.

"There is no conflict of interests, nor will there be any influence peddling," he said.

Ronaldo's last official match with Brazil was in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Brazil lost to France in the quarterfinals. He was a member of the squad that won the 1994 World Cup in the United States and played in the 1998 tournament in which Brazil was runner-up to France.

Ronaldo peaked with the national team in 2002, helping Brazil win the World Cup in South Korea and Japan with two goals in the final against Germany.

Football legend Pele is the Brazilian government's offical ambassador for the World Cup.