RIO DE JANEIRO: Ronaldo, the 2002 World Cup-winner who was derided for early naïve comments about Brazil’s street protests, has changed his tune writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Early in the convulsed Confederations Cup fortnight Ronaldo was excoriated for an observation that football tournaments were built “with stadia not hospitals.”

Since then the man originally brought aboard the local organising committee by scandal-hit Ricardo Teixeira has taken the trouble to delve deeper into the issues.

Signalling a volte-face, he told the local and international media: “I fully support the demonstrations because the Brazilian people were tired of the situation that we face.

“However, walking around the streets and talking to people I realised that Brazilians are not against the World Cup or the Confederations Cup – Brazilians are against corruption, embezzlement and the way the health system has been managed and the education system has been managed.

“It’s been wonderful to see Brazilians really rise up against this situation and to see that most demonstrations have been peacefully asking for change in Brazil.

“This has been very touching and we have already seen the results because things seem to be moving forward and the government seems to be responding to the people’s calls.”

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