Barcelona: Ronaldo says he never wanted to leave
Ronaldo Nazario has spoken about the details of his departure from the Catalan giants, which led to him joining Inter Milan, before then the Galácticos at Real Madrid.
Ronaldo Nazario has revealed a rather interesting anecdote, unknown to many, about how he came to leave Barcelona, explaining how it was a decision that was out of his hands.
Ronaldo on his Barcelona to Inter move
Most people are aware that the Brazilian legend moved from the Camp Nou in 1997 to Inter Milan following an historic season in LaLiga where he ended up as top scorer and winner of the European Cup Winners Cup. It was a world record fee at the time of €28 million (the largest transfer price ever when inflation linked) and one that the then president Joan Gaspert admitted forced his hand.
The player has now spoken to DAZN Italy about the move.
“I’d signed a contract renewal [with Barça] at the end of the season and went away with the Brazil national team," revealed the former Galáctico. "Five days later, they called me to tell me that I couldn’t continue with that renewal. It was never in my hands, I wanted to stay.
“If the club did not value me as I thought they should, then the decision was not in my hands. I would have liked to have stayed, but it was not up to me.”
Following five years in Serie A, where he scored 49 goals in 68 games, Ronaldo then moved to Barça's bitter rivals Real Madrid, a decision that was aided by compatriot Roberto Carlos.
“I played with Roberto Carlos for Brazil and he would tell me all about what Madrid represented, and what he had experienced there," divulged the current Valladolid president. "That stuck in my mind, and after a few years I wanted to see it for myself.
“I came to Madrid and it was even greater than what Roberto had told me, bigger than I could imagine. It’s Real Madrid. There is great expectation and great pressure. There are also, of course, the best players in the world. I was delighted to find out that it was such a huge club, and that I could help the club to be even greater.
“There was a lot of expectation about that group of Galacticos. In the end we provided a lot of flair, we were a winning generation, and we changed the way of doing business in football. Since then, every club has generated more money and been better at selling their players. This was a big change in a new era of football."
On the topic of when he was at his best, the Brazilian was less sure.
“I can’t tell you which version of me was the best. Of course, I enjoyed all of them.
“I love playing football and I love football. I think that’s more of a question for the fans. I tried to be the best I could be throughout my entire career,” he concluded.