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The Incredible Story Of How Ronaldo Came Close To Joining Rangers In 1997

The Incredible Story Of How Ronaldo Came Close To Joining Rangers In 1997

Italian agent Giovanni Branchini claims that Rangers almost completed a shock transfer for Ronaldo -- and he would have only played in Champions League matches.

The legendary Brazilian, 43, left Barcelona in 1997 to complete a sensational move to Inter Milan for a world-record fee of £25 million.

TalkSPORT found an interview with Branchini from 2016 and the agent claimed that Rangers were among three clubs in the race to land Ronaldo.

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The two-time World Cup winner was free to leave the Camp Nou so long as a club bought out the remainder of his contract with Barca, which Inter eventually did.

"The clause in his contract was a novelty at the time and it scared a lot of clubs off," Branchini said.

"The three who were really interested were Inter, Lazio and Glasgow Rangers, who followed negotiations all the way."

According to Branchini, the Gers were fully committed to capturing the Champions League crown and would only use Ronaldo in European matches over Scottish clashes.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He explained: "The offer from Glasgow Rangers was incredible.

"They told us he didn't have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish League.

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"They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in the European matches only.

The Incredible Story Of How Ronaldo Came Close To Joining Rangers In 1997
Football

The Incredible Story Of How Ronaldo Came Close To Joining Rangers In 1997

published at10 months ago

"But Inter had followed him from when he used to play in Brazil.

"Barcelona reneged on a new contract and Inter were the first club to meet the release clause, so he went there."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Rangers legend Ally McCoist poked fun at the idea of Ronaldo heading to the Ibrox and playfully suggested that he wouldn't have played in a match for them.

He told talkSPORT: "Frankly, I can't believe that.

"Are you telling me Ronaldo could've signed for Rangers before Inter Milan?

"He wouldnae have got a game!"

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Ronaldo's five years at Inter Milan were plagued with recurring injuries, despite managing to score an impressive 49 goals in 68 matches.

Is Ronaldo the best striker of all time?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Ronaldo, Rangers

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]