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Great Goals

Old heads often complain that the footballing world frequently acts as though there was no football before the Premier League. In my head I often hear myself saying that there was also a Ronaldo before Ronaldo. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima not only played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, he played for Inter Milan and A.C. Milan too. Feel free to go back and read that again.

After breaking through in his native Brazil at Cruzeiro, he joined PSV and then the others maintaining a goal-scoring rate that can justifiably be called ridiculous. Indeed, in less enlightened times, he may well have been accused of witchcraft such was the ease with which he glided passed defenders and the accuracy of his shooting. In the late 90s when Serie A was the top league in the world, Inter snatched him from a desolate Barca by activating his buy-out clause. Ouch.

Ronaldo was an all-round forward but I will always remember him scoring a particular kind of goal. He is in line or just his side of the opposing defenders, the ball is put through and the race is on with defenders chasing and a keeper trying to work out what the hell to do next. The thing about this goal, and it almost always was a goal, is its inevitability. Everyone knew what was coming, on the pitch, in the stands and watching around the world on TV. Everyone knew what he was going to do but no-one could stop him.

Midfield General (ret.)

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