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Brazilian legend Ronaldo: 1996 was a fantastic year for me

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The 1996-1997 La Liga season saw one of the most devasting individual performances world football has ever seen, when Brazilian legend Ronaldo scored 34 goals in 37 games (47 in 49 in all competitions) in his one and only season for Barcelona.

The striker had moved to the Nou Camp from PSV Eindhoven to link up once again with English coach Sir Bobby Robson and was crowned Fifa World Player of the Year for 1996.

In a recent interview with Fifa.com, the former Inter Milan forward described 1996 as a 'fantastic year'.

He said: "It was a fantastic year: I started out of favour with A Seleção Brasileira, as a back-up player, though I was getting games and being decisive for PSV. And later came that transfer to Barcelona.

"It was a year packed full of emotions. A year of important decisions too, because it’s not easy changing clubs and taking a step like that in your career. But I was given a very good welcome at Barcelona and I managed to stay focused on just playing football."

And the player admitted that winning the award in 1996 helped take him to another level as a player.

"Wow, that first one was so special. It was lovely. And because I wasn’t expecting it, it was wonderful. You do get more respect from opponents but, at the time, the responsibility on your shoulders and the pressure to keep up that level of performance also increases.

"It’s good in several ways and I always say that, for me at least, the more pressure the better. I’d turn that into energy and motivation and was able to perform even better."

 
 

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