Ronaldo was very close to becoming a Rangers player after leaving Barcelona

The Scottish club were willing to let the star only play in European games

BY Daniel Kelly 09:41 Monday 18 July 2016, 9:41 18 Jul 2016

Picture by: DENIS DOYLE / AP/Press Association Images

Before Cristiano Ronaldo became a star at Manchester United and with Portugal, there was another Ronaldo, who many claim is still the best.

The Brazilian striker won two World Cups and countless club honours at clubs such as PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in Europe, along with Cruzeiro and Corinthians in Brazil.

One name that was very close to making that list was Scottish side Rangers.

The Glasgow team made an "incredible" offer for Ronaldo to come to Scotland, but only play in European games for the team that was then managed by Walter Smith.

Speaking to, Ronaldo's representative Giovanni Branchini revealed that the Scottish side, along with Inter Milan and Lazio were the only serious contenders to buy the Brazilian from Barcelona in 1997.

The Scottish champions were willing to let Ronaldo only play in their European games, such was their desperation to get their hands on the FIFA World Player of the Year and win the Champions League.

"They told us he didn't have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish league. They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in the European matches only."

"But Inter had followed him from when he used to play in Brazil. Barcelona reneged on a new contract and Inter were the first club to meet the release clause, so he went there."

Rangers failed to reach the group stages of that season's Champions League, before being eventually knocked out of the UEFA Cup in the first round.


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