El Centrocampista



If you think we’re talking CR7 here, look away now. This is all about the ‘real’ Ronaldo, or more precisely Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.

Scorer of 47 goals in 49 games for FC Barcelona during the 1996-97 season. Winner of three FIFA World Player of the Year accolades. Two-time World Champion. You get the picture.

Simply put, Ronaldo was a phenomenon.

Blessed with electric pace, a lethal finish and a bag full of tricks, the Rio-born forward is rightly considered to be one of the greatest players to have graced the Spanish league.

Brought to the Camp Nou by the great Bobby Robson in 1996, the Brazilian-wonderboy destroyed all before him as he helped Barça lift the UEFA European Cup Winners Cup, the Copa del Rey and the  Supercopa de España.

He was also named the youngest ever World Player of the Year just for good measure.

His stay in Spain was short-lived however, as Internazionale prised him away from the club with a record bid of almost £20 million the following summer.

After two successful campaigns in Italy, Florentin Perez made Ronaldo one of his Galaticos as the player signed for Barça’s bitter rivals, Real Madrid.

Despite the controversy, the striker made an immediate impact in the capital and went on to score 83 goals La Liga goals in four seasons at the club.

He finished his career in February this year after being granted the almost-unheard-of honour of a farewell tribute match for the national side – five years after his last appearance.

Ronaldo finally hung up his boots with 247 goals in 343 domestic league games, and a staggering 62 international strikes in less than 100 games for Brazil.

Truly Phenomenal.

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