Brazilian legend, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima has bought a majority stake in his boyhood club, Cruzeiro.
The club confirmed the deal in its club statement; ‘Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, a centuries-old institution in world football, signed an agreement with Ronaldo this Saturday, through Tara Sports, for investments of R$ 400 million ($70 million), over the next few years, in its Sociedade Anônima of Football (SAF).
The transaction envisions the financial and operational rebalancing of the club’s football department, with a medium and long-term sustainable growth plan. Completion of the transaction is subject to the completion of a series of conditions precedent.’
The Brazilian club that has been Champions of the South American League on four occasions suffered relegation to the second tier of their league for the first time in their history in 2019 and since then have not been good enough to earn a promotion back to the first tier of their division.
According to Goal, the Brazilian club holds a crippling debt of around R$1billion (£133m/$176m) and are currently banned by the world football governing body, FIFA, from registering any new player, due to their failure to fulfil transfer payments to two separate clubs.
According to reports, Fenway Sports Group, which controls Premier League club, Liverpool FC, was also interested in purchasing the Brazilian club.
This is the second foray into management for the Brazilian legend as he also bought a 51% stake in Spanish club Real Valladolid in 2018.
What Ronaldo is saying
The Brazilian wrote on Instagram: “It’s my turn to try and open doors for the team. Not as a hero. Not with superpowers to single-handedly change reality. But with immense responsibility. With intelligent and sustainable management for medium- and long-term growth.”
“I don’t have all the answers to the questions that I ask myself and I possibly won’t have all the answers to the questions that you will ask me,” he wrote in an open letter to fans.
“What I do know is that the kid who learnt at Cruzeiro that dreams can come true today makes me believe that it is possible to rescue the club from its crisis.”