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Football legend Ronaldo joins Team PokerStars SportStars

On Friday we learned that PokerStars inked Brazilian football (soccer to those of in the US) legend to a sponsorship deal, making him the newest member of Team PokerStars SportStars. Ronaldo joins a pair of famous tennis players in Boris Becker and Rafa Nadal, as well as the lesser-known Fatima Moreira de Melo (A Dutch field hockey star) and Marcus Hellner (a gold medal winning Swedish skier) on the SportStars Team.

With the fairly recent signing of Rafa Nadal and now Ronaldo, It would seem that PokerStars is beginning to take a broader approach to their marketing efforts, and trying to appeal to a wider audience. While the site has sponsored various celebrities and athletes over the years these deals were more one-off tournament entries, whereas the recent signings of Nadal and Ronaldo are putting these players front and center in the site’s overall marketing efforts.

Ronaldo will represent PokerStars as a brand ambassador, playing in both live and online poker tournaments:

In a post on the PokerStars blog, Ronaldo talked about his new role with PokerStars, saying, “Sempre busco entregar o meu melhor em tudo, no futebol e na vida. O poker é mais um desafio que me empolga: ler o jogo e os adversários e escolher o melhor caminho para vencer.” Adding, “Já há algum tempo venho descobrindo o jogo de poker e escolhi o PokerStars porque eles reúnem uma comunidade apaixonada pelo esporte. Além disso, conta com uma grande equipe de jogadores”,

For those of you who don’t speak Portuguese, this roughly translates to (using Google translate and my own limited linguistic abilities): “I always try to bring my best in everything, in football and in life. Poker is another challenge that excites me: you must read the game and opponents and choose the best way to win. For some time I have been discovering the game of poker and have chosen PokerStars because they are a community that is passionate about the sport. Moreover, it has a great team of players,”

Ronaldo, born Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, is one of the legends of Brazilian football (which is saying quite a bit) thanks to a prolific International and club career that saw him widely considered to be the best footballer in the world for a number of years. Ronaldo led Brazil to the World Cup in 2002, winning the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, and hung up his cleats as the World Cup’s all-time leading goal scorer with 15 goals. If Germany’s Miroslav Klose returns for a fourth World Cup in 2014, which seems very likely as he continues to play at a high level, Ronaldo’s record is likely in jeopardy –Klose currently has 14 goals.

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