NEARLY six months have passed since Ronaldo, suffering from 'severe fatigue, weariness and stress' according to the Paris radiologist who examined him, stumbled and stuttered his way through Brazil's World Cup final capitulation to France. The world's greatest footballer, playing for the world's greatest football nation, in the final of the world's greatest football tournament. Only 21 at the time, he could, perhaps, be forgiven for feeling the pressure. As Brazil headed for home, many observers, former professionals and media, suggested Ronaldo needed time and space away from the spotlight to recharge his batteries. The stress of carrying a nation's hopes on his young, iconic shoulders had taken its toll, they said. He should be left alone to recuperate. Watching Ronaldo as he sat under bright lights in the plush surroundings of the Geneva Noga Hilton last Monday, where he was launching a line of luxury watches with Swiss jewellers Montega Geneve, it was difficult not to wonder if any of this advice, unsolicited though it was, had been heeded. His hectic itinerary began at 8.30 am with the first of a series of group interviews (Montega had flown in more than 100 reporters from 28 countries for the event). The first tranche of interviews was followed by a glitzy press conference at 11 am, which in turn was followed by lunch and a dozen or so further interviews. From there, it was off to the United Nations to announce his support for a campaign aimed at raising awareness of HIV infection. At the end of a relentless day, he was shuttled back to Milan for a session on the treatment table to help his injured left knee. Although no-one can question Ronaldo's commitment to worthy causes, or his right to cash in on his fame via various commercial routes, he appears uncomfortable when it comes to the attendant hassles of dealing with the media. In Geneva, he had PR staff tearing their hair out in exasperation. He overslept, immediately throwing his carefully choreographed schedule out of the window. Before the interviews began, journalists were told: 'Don't talk about football.' We were only in Geneva because Marc Chatila, Montega's head designer, had paid for us to be there. We were to ask questions about the watch first, football second. 'A TV crew from England didn't ask any questions about the watch and Marc ended the interview,' a PR woman warned ominously. When Ronaldo finally entered the interview suite in the early afternoon, he looked decidedly disinterested, a little tired, and probably bored. The obligatory questions about the watch out of the way, he was asked how he finds the time to manage his football, business and charitable work. 'It is hard but not impossible. I have one day off a week. Everything I do, I do with the agreement of my team . . . it is hard but I use my one day off to do what I can,' he says. At a press conference earlier in the day, a reporter had suggested he might lose his focus on what he is most famous for. After a telling pause, he replies emphatically. 'Absolutely not. I'm used to this life. I have no complaints . . . I am happy and extremely lucky to be the person that I am and to have the life that I have.' Although Ronaldo's pre-World Cup final fit is a matter of record, he insists - somewhat implausibly - that he is not affected by pressure. 'I'm living without pressure. Inside of me there is no pressure . . . it's always outside of me. I don't think about what everybody thinks about me. Inside of myself there is no pressure at all.' So what about his long-term goals? 'To win matches, to score goals. To be happy . . . to be happy once again.' And with that, he is whisked out of the door and into the adjacent interview suite for more questions.