The iconic number 9 from Sukuta Ronaldo

Few players in Sukuta would enjoy iconic status in a football driven community, Ronaldo’s status was merited as he becomes Sukuta’s all time leading goalscorer and the most capped player ever to come out of Sukuta.Ronaldo delivered gold for Sukuta in 2005 when he captained them in the zonal championship, they defeated Serekunda West 2-1. Sukuta scored eight goals in that tournament and Ronaldo scored four of them. The iconic Sukuta talisman would go on to represent the Gambia U20, U23 and the national team.

The name Ronaldo was given by Malick Jones when Wallidan faced NPE at the KG5 mini stadium for a FA cup tie. Indeed, he was a very much all round package. The karaba  born started playing for Gibba’s  FC in the junior tournament where he scored eight goals at a very young age. He moved to NPE, when they were at the third division and he stayed till their promotion to the GFA division one. It was during this NPE days he earned the name Ronaldo from the man commentating the match ( Malick Jones). The tie was 1-1 after his equalizer but he sustain an injury and left the field when Wallidan gained the upper hand and won 3-1. A foul on him by Abdourahman Conteh denied him sinking the blue boys but his performance on that match was so impressive that he caught the eyes of the President OB Conateh. Once NPE relegated, Fisco brought him to Wallidan in 2000, in one of the most expensive deal ever for a Sukuta player. NPE were given D12,000, two pairs of Jersey and ten footballs.

Ronaldo would start his Wallidan career with a 2-0 defeat in Ivory Coast against Stad Abidjan but he went to have a colorful career with the blue boys as he won ten trophies (three league cups, three FA cups, three super cups and one President cup). Ronaldo, whose idol was Joe Jallow narrated the hype when he was moving to Wallidan.

Wallidan were having Bai Omar Samba, many thought the boy from Jasseh Kunda playing times would limit, but that wasn’t the case. He introduced himself by scoring four goals in training impressing Bai Omar , Bai approached him and asked after his name, he replied Ronaldo from Sukuta.

Ronaldo recalled Wallidan didn’t open the doors for professional opportunities and that left him frustrated. The club refused him joining Diambars, Diambars saw his talent when he scored them twice in a friendly match. He would later leave Wallidan to play for Steve Biko and Seaview before hanging his boots. He did briefly play in Senegal and Kolack and later in Ziguinchor where he scored ten goals in four matches. At the end of the day, Ronaldo’s lack of breakthrough in having a professional contact is Gods will. There were even plans to take him to Belgium and Finland but none bear fruits. 

Ronaldo is a good striker, had pace, had good shots, great finisher and equally comfortable with both feet. Ronaldo, who had the opportunity to break the hearts of Real de Banjul, picked his derby goal in Wallidan 2-1 win in 2004 as his best goal he had ever scored. He volleyed Toubabo cross from 18- yards. Goals were part of him. He scored one of his favorites goal at the Serekunda west mini stadium in a first division match between NPE v Armed Forces, he got better of a rebound from a corner and left the goalkeeper without no chance.

Either from running from the midfield right or as a striker Ronaldo was just pacy but Ronaldo never fancy meeting up against Kebba Njie. He would go to the extend of faking injuries just to avoid coming up against Kebba Njie.

“In Sukuta people see football differently, if people see you engaged in football they term you aimless. It’s only Brikama that is bigger than Sukuta in the kombo region. Yet still we cannot produce any divisional team. People do wonder why I am not in the frontline. Yes, I would love to, because I know every players potential but the fund to sustain the team is what is lacking. Sukuta is one of the regions with junior tournaments.” Gambian football is facing crises, because people who venture into football have zero knowledge, football has its ways. You need to know its benefits before going into it. Football is not just fun, it brings millions.”

Fine striker, very determined and disciplined player. Outstanding player and one of the best players to come from Sukuta.

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