Legendary Inter striker Ronaldo has revealed part of the reasoning behind him leaving the club in 2002 for Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Il Fenomeno joined Inter in a then world record transfer from Barcelona back in 1997 and dazzled Nerazzurri supporters with his skills although his time in Milan was plagued by several serious knee injuries.
The now 43-year-old, who is the owner of Spanish side Real Valladolid these days, says he left Inter due to then president and owner Massimo Moratti preferring to stick with manager Hector Cuper.
“In Milan I was very well, I felt the unconditional love of the fans and from all over the world. I left Italy due to the coach we had, I couldn’t continue. When I spoke to Moratti I said to him: ‘Either he goes away or I go away, we cannot continue.’ My story with Inter ended badly, Moratti preferred Cuper to me,” he explained in an interview with broadcaster DAZN earlier on today.
He then spoke on why he chose to go to Real Madrid.
“I went to Madrid because I wanted to play for Real, it was a dream of mine. Roberto Carlos was there who told me in the national team what Real represented, how he was there, and this always intrigued me. Years later I wanted to try to see for myself; I got to Madrid and it was better than I could have imagined.”
Next he was asked where he thinks he played his football in his career.
“I can’t say which was my best version in my career. I tried to have fun everywhere because I love football. This is something for the fans to decide.”
He proceeded to speak on the injuries that hampered his career.
“I retired after an injury that I had during the last season that I played. It was a very strong case of pubalgia, the strongest pain I ever experienced in my life.
“At 35-years-old I was tired of undergoing operations. I understood that I had made my path, I understood that winning or losing the last battle would not make a difference. I wanted to quit and start a new life, I have not regretted the decision made.
“I believe that injuries have made me a better person and a better player. They have made me an example of self-sacrifice, not only for athletes, but also for people who have to overcome obstacles.”
Ronaldo made 98 appearances during his time on the books of Inter and scored 59 goals in that time. He won the Balon d’Or once during his time with the club as well as the UEFA Cup.