Remembering when Ronaldo tore La Liga defences apart for Barcelona

As Barcelona legend Ronaldo turns 41 we take a look back at when the Brazilian striker dominated La Liga in 1996-97.

It is crazy to think Ronaldo only played 49 games for the Catalan giants but what an impact he made.  He scored an outrageous 47 goals and captured the imagination of a generation.

Ronaldo was signed for Barcelona from PSV, for a world record $19.5m and re joined his manager Bobby Robson.  That season he was at his physical peak and was unstoppable with the ball at his feet.  His quality was summed up by Bobby Robson’s reaction to his wonder goal against Compostela.

Although he was only at Barcelona for one season the goals he scored are often chosen as favourites in our interviews.  Here are 2 of the best from Rupert Fryer and Marcus Speller.


Rupert Fryer had never seen anything like Ronaldo before

For reasons more personal and emotive, Ronaldo’s 1996–1997 La Liga season for Barcelona. I’d never seen anything like him before, and haven’t since. He remains the best I’ve ever seen. He was just remarkable. He was so good it felt unfair that he was even allowed to play. It was like at lunch-break when that kid from the four years ahead inexplicably joins your game and nobody can get the ball off him.


Marcus Speller remembers the impact the goal had on Bobby Robson

This is even trickier than the previous question. I’m going to pick a few if I may. That goal Ronaldo scored for Barcelona against Compostela where he bursts past about 4 or 5 men like he’s a wild beast leaving Bobby Robson in sheer awe on the sidelines.

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1998 Barcelona Pep Guardiola shirt



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