Former Lazio President Discusses The Club’s Pursuit of Ronaldo in 1997

Since the existence of club football, stories of transfers in their final stages but falling through at the last minute fill the sport. 

In an interview with Radiosei (via Citta Celeste), Sergio Cragnotti, former Lazio president, discussed one transfer that nearly saw the Biancocelesti land Ronaldo in the late 1990s. 

After failing to secure a long-term deal, Ronaldo’s time with FC Barcelona only lasted one season, where he scored 47 goals in 49 appearances. The Brazil international was ready to depart the Spanish club, and according to Cragnotti, Lazio was in the running to land the hottest name in football. 

Ronaldo? If he didn’t come to Lazio, it was because the Nerazzurri raised their offer. However, it is difficult to remember exactly what happened. There are a lot of anecdotes about the players we bought…

Ronaldo decided to venture into Italian football; however, instead of Lazio, Inter Milan swooped in to pay the then world-record fee of $27 million in 1997. Ronaldo spent five seasons with Inter, where he made 99 appearances and scored 59 goals before moving to Real Madrid. 

In a parallel universe, Ronaldo heads to Lazio, and who knows what the future holds for those squads having one of the better players of his time…

Tags Cragnotti Inter Inter Milan Ronaldo Sergio Cragnotti