Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima has achieved a new miracle in football. In less than five months of having managed to return Valladolid to the highest category of Spanish football, he now celebrates with his other club: Cruzeiro, the same one in which he began his career as a professional footballer.
After becoming the president of the Belo Horizonte team in December 2021, he set himself the goal of restructuring the team and returning it to the Brazilian Serie A.
And he met this goal. Promotion was achieved on Wednesday night after Cruzeiro beat Vasco da Gama 3-0. With this victory, the blue team reached 68 points, getting a 15 advantage over Gremio, second in the table, and 20 over Carlos Palacios’ team, which occupies the fourth and last place in promotion.
After completing the return to the first division in 2023, Ronaldo celebrated the achievement. “This is just the icing on the cake. We work hard to win this. That night was very special. Congratulations to the players, coaching staff, my administrative team, but above all to this fan who suffered for almost three years.”, he commented.
“Today is the day of glory. Thank you, I want to thank you for your support. Now let’s celebrate a few days and start thinking about next year”, he added in statements collected by Globo Esporte.
On December 18, 2021, Ronaldo became the owner of Cruzeiro, having from the beginning the mission of returning it to the highest category in Brazil.
“I say I have a lot to contribute. We have a lot of work ahead of us and the ambition to do something big with Cruzeiro”, he declared on his arrival.
And from the start, everything was complicated by the consequences left by previous administrations. “It is a tragic scenario, but we have to stop the bleeding. Cruzeiro is a patient in serious condition, he is in the ICU, and we are offering the necessary treatment to get him out of that condition”, he pointed out in his official presentation.
There he pointed out that the debt faced by the institution “is worse” than he imagined, so an “efficient” and “sustainable” model should be proposed.
“Every day that we open a drawer we find some negative surprise and we are still in that process of analysis (…) Discovering the size of the hole that exists,” he continued.
This debt reached an amount close to 25 million dollars which had to be renegotiated with creditors. Much of this was due to a budget that exceeded expected revenue. “Running a club like this doesn’t enter my head”.
For the same reason, he announced at the time an agreement with players to lower his salary. “We managed to reduce the budget to 35 million reais (6.2 million dollars), almost three times less. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of cuts to make. It is time for unpopular actions, but necessary for the club to be great again”.
In the end, all these measures allowed Cruzeiro to pick up the promotion and get back to Serie A.