MILAN – Pace, power, effortless dribbling, technical ability and movement. Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, otherwise known as O Fenômeno, or simply "Ronie" for short, burst onto the scene at Inter in the summer of 1997, immediately winning the affections of all those who were lucky enough to watch him in action.
His first goal came on 14 September 1997 at the Stadio Dall'Ara against Bologna, on a difficult playing surface in the pouring rain.
Plenty more astonishing feats followed, and there were many more goals as well, with the Brazilian amassing a total of 59 in 99 games for the Nerazzurri. Some of them were particularly incredible, like the brace he scored on 14 April 1998 in the UEFA Cup semi-final against Spartak, when he danced around the pitch with effortless grace. And some were truly unforgettable, like his goal against Lazio in the 1998 UEFA Cup final in Paris.
Today, Ronaldo, who became the first forward to be officially inaugurated into the Nerazzurri Hall of Fame, celebrates his 44th birthday. All of us here at Inter and all the Nerazzurri fans around the world wish him a very happy birthday!