- Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima joined Barcelona in 1996 for what was then a world record fee
- Despite playing for both Barcelona and rivals Real Madrid, Ronaldo is well respected by both fan bases
- Brazil's Ronaldo changed the way forwards played, and his style has served as an inspiration for many
Fifteen years have passed since Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima last played in La Liga, but his legend has stood the test of time.
The Brazilian superstar, who earned the nickname O Fenômeno (The Phenomenon), played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid and is widely respected across both fan bases.
To celebrate his 46th birthday, Sports Brief looks at what made Ronaldo a legend in La Liga.
When did Ronaldo come to Spain?
In 1996 Barcelona splashed out a then-world-record fee for Ronaldo's services. He spent just a year with Barcelona before Inter Milan broke the world record fee to sign him.
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In 2002 he returned to Spain with Real Madrid. He spent the next five seasons with Los Blancos before eventually moving on.
How many goals did Ronaldo score at Barcelona and Real Madrid?
Ronaldo's stats speak for themselves. O Fenômeno played only 51 matches for Barcelona but scored an impressive 47 goals for the club. At Real, he played 177 games and scored 104 goals, Madrid's website confirmed.
What individual awards did Ronaldo win?
He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award during his first year at Barcelona. He was just 20 at the time, making him the youngest player ever to win it. During his career, he won the award three times. The following year he won the Ballon d'Or at just 21. He won the Ballon d'Or five years later again when he joined Madrid. Ronaldo was also inducted into the Real Madrid Hall of Fame.
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Ronaldo has many more individual awards to his name that he won with Brazil or other clubs he's played for.
Does Ronaldo still have links to La Liga?
Yes. As reported by TalkSport, Ronaldo bought La Liga side Real Valladolid in 2018. The Brazilian is still the owner of the Madrid-based club to this day.
Ronaldo revolutionized how forwards think and play, and his style has served as an inspiration to a whole new generation of forwards throughout the years.
Cristiano Ronaldo names Brazil legends Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Nazario as his football idols
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has finally revealed Brazilian legends Ronaldinho Gaucho and Ronaldo De Lima Nazario as his football idols.
The 36-year-old revealed he had dreams of emulating the feat of both players while growing up, and indeed the Ex-Real Madrid forward can boast of having achieved that and more.