Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima is one of the greatest athletes of all time.
The mere mention of ‘Brazilian Ronaldo’ is enough to send those lucky enough to watch his footballing genius live into a frenzy.
But El Fenomeno really is worthy of that reaction. In his prime, the ambidextrous striker was the definition of unstoppable.
He was lightning-quick, strong as an ox, possessed the skill level of a freestyler and was absolutely deadly in front of goal.
For two years at Inter Milan, Ronaldo was comfortably the best player in the world, with his finest season for the Italian club coming in 1997/98.
Signed for a world-record fee from Barcelona in the summer of 1997, the global icon instantly adapted to his new surroundings.
He scored 34 goals across all competitions in his first season at Inter and six of them came during the club’s successful UEFA Cup campaign.
One Ronaldo performance on the European stage in 1997/98 stands head and shoulders above the rest.
It came during Inter’s semi-final second leg against Spartak Moscow.
The Italian outfit went into the game 2-1 up from the first leg, but the team’s confidence could not have been very high after they saw the pitch they would have to play on in the Russian capital.
The turf was bad enough to make a Sunday League player wince.
But it didn’t faze Ronaldo one bit, as the Brazilian maestro made the brown, patchy turf look like a carpet with a two-goal masterclass.
Inter went a goal down on what was a freezing night, a result that would have seen them eliminated on away goals.
Ronaldo didn’t feel the pressure, though, and he dragged his side level with a trademark dribble around the Spartak goalkeeper before slotting the ball into an empty net.
In the second half, the Brazilian’s elite predatory instincts saw him fire his team in front and secure a place in the UEFA Cup final – where they beat Lazio 3-0.
Ronaldo gliding across one of the worst pitches imaginable in Moscow really is majestic to watch and it’s footage that serves as a reminder as to why he is continually lauded in the present day.
There still hasn’t been another footballer quite like El Fenomeno.