Moments of Magic #12 – Ronaldo

Brazilian superstar Ronaldo is the subject of this week’s Moments of Magic feature as we look at his 1996 goal against Compostela in La Liga.

#12 Ronaldo v Compostela, 1996

Back in 1996, Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima had the world at his feet as he terrorised La Liga defences with Barcelona.

One of his finest moments at the Nou Camp came in October of that year during the clash with SD Compostela. Picking the ball up just inside his own half, the then-20 year old Brazilian first avoided a blatant trip, then a shirt tug, before bursting through two defenders.

As he got closer to the penalty area, his power and pace meant it was impossible for the Compostela players to put in a tackle without the risk of giving away a penalty. Ronaldo seized the opportunity to cut inside and coolly slot the ball past the visiting goalkeeper.

Barcelona manager Sir Bobby Robson leapt from his seat in the dugout, and he wasn’t the only one to react that way as thousands of fans stood to applaud a truly stunning goal.

Even Ronaldo himself was somewhat shocked, with one of the cameras in the ground catching him mouthing “Oh my God!” as he ran back for the kick off.

Ronaldo went on to score 47 goals in just 49 games in all competitions in the 1996/97 season as he helped Barcelona to a Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup triumph.

Already a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994, Ronaldo picked up his second winner’s medal in 2002, though he was also part of the side that lost to France in 1998.

Despite his undeniable talent, the striker was constantly plagued by injury and weight problems. He left Barcelona in 1997, moving to Inter Milan and then on to Real Madrid, though he spent prolonged periods on the sidelines with knee problems.

A move to AC Milan looked to have reignited the old magic, but again injuries were to blight his time there as he ruptured ligaments in his left knee.

Having been released by Milan, he trained with Flamengo back in Brazil before signing with Corinthians where he has rediscovered his goal scoring touch.

Author Details

Neil Sherwin
Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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