Real Madrid star Kaka has paid tribute to Brazil legend Ronaldo’s stellar career, which ened yesterday when Ronaldo announced his retirement.

“Ronaldo, thank you for everything you did. Thank you for the sport of football, for Brazil, and for the army of many thousands of fans,” said Kaka to his former international team-mate.

An emotional Ronaldo, 34, who has been dogged by injuries in recent years, announced his retirement at a press conference yesterday.

His decision came after he sustained a muscle injury last week.

“The pain made me anticipate the end of my career… It’s very hard to leave something that made me so happy. Mentally, I wanted to continue, but I have to acknowledge I lost to my body.”

The Corinthians striker went on to reveal that he had also struggled with hypothyroidism, a thyroid disorder which caused his weight to fluctuate earning him the cruel sobriquet “fat Ronaldo”.

Ronaldo or El Fenomeno (The Phenonemon), as he was nicknamed by the Italian press, leaves the game with a stunning record.

He scored 42 goals in 43 league games for PSV Eindhoven, 34 in 37 for Barcelona and 34 in 47 for Inter Milan.

He was also three times world player of the year, twice a World Cup winner and the overall top goal scorer in finals history.