Ronaldo scored three times as Corinthians beat Fluminense 4-2 in a Brazilian Championship game at the Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo on Wednesday night.

It was Corinthians' first match since it claimed the Copa do Brasil last week, and the Brazilian giants proved their worth with another valuable victory.

Ronaldo starred for the Timao, scoring twice in the first half and once in the second. The Brazilian superstar opened the scoring in the 24th minute, when he met a superb ball from Douglas with a clinical finish.

In the 35th minute Ronaldo added his second, and Corinthians' third, with a spectacular strike. He dribbled past both Cassio and Edcarlos before firing the ball past Ricardo Berna.

Six minutes before full-time Ronaldo completed his hat trick with another impressive finish.

The goals were Ronaldo's first of the Brasileiro this season, however the 2002 World Cup winner scored several goals in the Paulista State Championship and the Copa do Brasil, two championships Corinthians won.

The other goals were scored by Dentinho, for Corinthians, and by Argentine playmaker Dario Conca and an own goal from Diego, for Fluminense.

Former Lyon striker Fred was sent off for Fluminense late in the second half.

With the win, Corinthians climbed into fifth place. It was its fourth win in nine matches.

If Ronaldo continues to find the back of the net at such a rate, the possibility increases that he could appear for Brazil in South Africa next year.

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