Will The World Cup Make It Ronaldo's World?

Soccer's championship matches may make him even more marketable

When soccer superstar Ronaldo visited the Vatican for a papal audience early in May, the first thing Pope John Paul II asked him was: "Are you Brazilian?" The 21-year-old striker, with his trademark shaved head and gapped-tooth smile, had presented the Holy Father with two jerseys--one from the Inter Milan team and another from the national Brazilian team. "Where do you play, son?" the Pope wondered. "I play in Italy, Father," Ronaldo said. The next day, all of Italy was abuzz with the news that the Pope might be the only person on the Continent who didn't know the answer to those questions.

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