Brazil is probably going to win the FIFA World Cup.
At least that’s the view of PokerStars Ambassador Ronaldo, who won the tournament on two separate occasions (1994 & 2002).
He sat down with PokerNews to talk about the World Cup, his passion for poker and the future of poker in his home country of Brazil.
“Brazil Are Always Favorites”
“Since 2002, there has been this European dominance in winning the World Cup”
Ronaldo was part of the last Brazilian team to win the World Cup, although that victory is now over twenty years ago. However, that doesn’t stop Brazil from consistently being among the favorites, according to Ronaldo.
“We all know about Brazil and the World Cup,” he said. “They always go in as strong favourites in relation to other teams, but there are always the same challenges. Mainly from European countries that have been playing well for a number of years. Since 2002, there has been this European dominance in winning the World Cup.”
The “European dominance” Ronaldo talks about is no exaggeration. Since 2002, only one team from outside Europe has made the World Cup Final (Argentina in 2014), with Brazil forced to watch on as Italy, Spain, Germany and France all lifted the famous Jules Rimet trophy. However, Ronaldo says that the time is right for Brazil.
“I think the Brazilian team is well balanced, it’s in a great moment. Tite made his squad with many options, with many variables. I am very optimistic about the Brazilian team for this World Cup.”
Whether it’s Formula One, football or poker there’s one thing Brazil is famous for — its passion. And it’s that passion, Ronaldo says, that helps people to achieve, whether it’s on the race track, in the stadium or while at the poker tables.
“Everything you do with passion, you will do better and the results will be better. Poker is no different”
“I think everyone tries to do their best in each area and with great passion. Everything you do with passion, you will do better and the results will be better. Poker is no different.”
Ronaldo is no stranger to poker, especially in Brazil, working with PokerStars as far back as 2013 to help grow the game and change people’s mindsets in relation to the game of poker.
“We all know that poker was a very marginalized game. And we started to change that, showing what poker can do and how the game works. And we did it successfully. All Brazilians know the difference between the game of poker, which is not just gambling — it’s a sport of the mind.
Ronaldo the Poker Streamer
Lex Veldhuis and Ben Spragg aren’t the only PokerStars Ambassadors streaming on Twitch — Ronaldo also regularly shares his online playing experience with viewers on Twitch.
“Playing online for my internet followers on my Twitch channel has also been a really cool experience. Sharing this time with the guys, having fun with them, playing some small buy-in tournaments for us to have fun. It’s been really cool.”
But will we see Ronaldo at the live poker tables any time soon?
“I hope so!” he says. “Poker is a passion that I have. And I remember well the last time I partnered with PokerStars. It was really cool to be able to travel, get to know some cities and play poker.
“Next year, with a more relaxed schedule, I hope to be able to enter some tournaments around the world!”
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Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German, and then studied for a NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism at Sportsbeat in Manchester. He previously worked as a freelance live reporter, and video presenter for the World Poker Tour.