'It was very similar to what happened with Neymar' - Ronaldo reflects on his Barcelona exit
In the summer of 1996, Ronaldo moved to Barcelona for a then world record transfer fee of £13.2 million.
The following summer he signed for Inter Milan for a fee of £19.5 million , breaking the world record yet again.
Club President Josep Lluis Nunez claimed before the move that the Brazilian striker was 'ours for life', under the assumpton that both parties had agreed a new long term contract until 2006, only for the deal to fall through the following day.
Ronaldo said that the club had an exended history of treating Brazilian players badly and that he preferred his time at rivals Real Madrid, where he won two La Liga titles.
“I felt much happier and more connected to Real Madrid, despite having lived a great year in Barcelona,” Ronaldo told Brazilian broadcaster Esporte Interativo.
“In the end, my history with Barca was very bad, similar to the one Neymar had. Barcelona have always had issues with Brazilian players: Neymar, Romario, Ronaldinho and me. We were all treated badly by the club in the end, despite all our contributions and dedication."
Ronaldo scored 34 goals in 37 games in his lone season for the club where he also won a Copa Del Rey title, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup medal and the Supercopa de España.
In a piece with journalist Graham Hunter earlier this year, former Manchester United defender Quinton Fortune, who was playing for Atletico Madrid at that time, likened Ronaldo to Michelangelo’s statue of David.
"I saw him after the match finished, and that’s the nearest I was to Ronaldo on the night," Fortune said. "I’ve heard stories about Michelangelo’s statue of David, although I’ve never visited Florence to witness it, but I imagine it must look like Ronaldo did back then.
"He was physical perfection, and he seemed like a mythical figure. I love [Lionel] Messi, I played many times with Cristiano [Ronaldo] and I adore him, Neymar is outstanding, Ronaldinho was exceptional—but if you put all of them together, you might get what Ronaldo was that season."