Critics tough on Brazil's play, Ronaldo

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ronaldo says critics are too harsh on Brazil for not winning the World Cup "even though we're the best team in the world".

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Ronaldo says critics are too harsh on Brazil for not winning the World Cup "even though we're the best team in the world". Favoured to win a record sixth World Cup in Germany, Brazil was knocked out in the quarterfinals 1-0 by France, which was runner-up to Italy. "I've seen and heard the criticism and it all seems very exaggerated," Ronaldo said in a news conference on Tuesday. He acknowledged the team didn't live up to expectations. "Our performance was below expectations. We just have to accept it," he said. "I think it's too much to look for a culprit for our elimination. Brazil won't win every Cup, even though we're the best team in the world." Ronaldo, 29, has won the Cup twice, in 1994 and 2002, and nearly won a third time in 1998, when Brazil reached the final but lost 3-0 to host France. He compared the sullen mood in Brazil with the ecstasy of 2002, when the team defeated Germany 2-0 in the final in Japan. "Four years ago everyone was happy - the press, fans, politicians - everyone commemorating the fifth World Cup title," he said. "Now the losers are just the players and the coaching staff." Defends coach Ronaldo defended coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led the team to the title in 1994 and was expected to repeat the feat this year. "The coach can't be the only one guilty for the defeat of the national team," Ronaldo said. The tournament was a personal success for Ronaldo, who scored three goals to eclipse former German star Gerd Mueller as the tournament's all-time leading scorer with 15 goals. He also was the Cup's third-highest scorer with three goals, two behind Germany's Gold Shoe striker Miroslav Klose. Ronaldo confirmed rumours he was considering surgery on his left knee, and said he was consulting Brazil team doctor Jose Luis Runco. "We'll talk with Runco and see what's the best way to resolve this problem," he said. Ronaldinho apologises FC Barcelona striker Ronaldinho, twice voted the world's best player, also apologised for the team's disappointing play. "Many expected a brilliant performance from the team and especially from me. Which didn't happen," he said in a statement on his Web site. "I regret we left this World Cup without showing our qualities, and what we're capable of." (AP)

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