Ronaldo (the original one) is the cover star of this edition of Football Italia, having completed a big money move to Inter Milan from Barcelona.

In adverts, there was a full page avert for a Football Italia hotline, where you could get all the latest Serie A news for just 50p a minute.

Cover star Ronaldo gets a four page feature.

Also getting four pages is AC Milan, who have a familiar face in the dugout, with Fabio Capello returning as manager.

Capello appears in another four page feature, a profile of all the managers in Serie A.

Claudio Ranieri gets profiled, but he is an out of work Serie A manager, having just been sacked by Fiorentina.

The best goalscorers in Serie A get profiled – Sandro Tovalieri, Pasquale Luiso and Marco Negri. Negri won’t be scoring any goals in Serie A this year, as he had just signed for Rangers.

There are profiles of players who have been dubbed Heroes Of 97, including two players who would later play for Manchester United – Juan Sebastian Veron and Massimo Taibi, who was compared to AM Milan keeper Sebastiano Rossi. There was also a former United player profiled – Paul Ince, who was leaving Italy after two years to sign for Liverpool.

The magazine ends with the fixture list of the forthcoming season in Serie A and Serie B.


Ronaldo (the original, not Cristiano) is the cover star of World Soccer having won World Player Of The Year, a year where he was top scorer in the World Cup.

It was a double celebration for him, with Brazil winning Team Of The Year. Guus Hiddink of South Korea won Manager Of The Year.

All three winners get profiled.

2002 was the year that saw the death of Jeff Astle at the age of 59, believed to be as a result of heading footballs in the 1960s and 1970s, and an editorial calls for a proper inquiry.

Having had an awful World Cup, France are back in winning form, and there is an interview with new manager Jacques Santini about the turnaround in form, as well as a feature on the new players he has brought into the squad.

Another one of Bazil’s stars getting featured is Juninho, who has endured a frustrating time since the World Cup, having suffered from injuries.

Also getting a profile is Lazio manager Roberto Mancini, who has had to deal with financial problems at the club which has resulted in players not getting paid.

Republic Of Ireland are in a mess after losing their first two Euro 2004 Qualifiers, which has resulted in the resignation of manager Mick McCarthy.

Livingston get profiled, having finished 3rd in the SPL, having ambitious plans for the future, building an academy and being a feeder club for Manchester United.

In Italy, the news has been dominated by an upsurge in fan violence.

One of the players profiled is Benjamin Mwaruwari of Auxerre. You may know him better as Benjani, who had a spell in England with Portsmouth and Manchester City.

In Northern Ireland, Glentoran are six points clear at the top of the league after nine successive wins.

Also getting profiled in this edition is Simon Davies of Tottenham Hotspur and Wales and Andy Van Der Mayde of Ajax and Holland.


Christian Vieri is the cover star of this edition of Football Italia having just signed for Lazio.

Vieri’s move from Atletico Madrid to Lazio gets covered in news, as does Patrick Kluivert’s move from AC Milan to Barcelona, who areunder pressure to replace Ronaldo, who left the previous year.

Three pages are dedicated to Italy’s opening Euro 2000 game, a 2-0 win over Wales at Anfield, Dino Zoff’s first as manager.

There is also international action being reviewed in terms of Italian sides in the three main European competitions, with Juventus getting off to a slow start in their European Cup group.

Also getting reviewed is the early rounds of the Coppa Italia.

Inter Milan get a five page profile, which includes interviews with Roberto Baggio and Ronaldo.

Also getting a five page profile is Fiorentina, under new manager Giovanni Trappatoni.

Oliver Bierhoff gets profiled, having moved from Udinese to AC Milan.

Staying in Milan, there is a profile of Guiseppe Bergomi of Inter, one of the veteran players in Serie A.


Ian Wright is the cover star of Football Europe as the final year of the 20th century is about to start.

There is a look at demanding schedules and club’s abilities to balance domestic and international commitments, prompted by the fact that Arsenal, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid all lost on the weekend prior to Matchday 5 in the group stages of the European Cup.

In news, Ronaldo of Inter Milan is suffering injury problems, while Jean-Pierre Papin has announced his retirement from football, and Peter Schmeichel has announced he will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season.

There is a profile of German football, with the national team struggling, as the country aims to bounce back to the top of European football at both club and international level.

There is a look at Qualifying for Euro 2000, with Belgium, who will co-host the tournament, and Norway both having bad form in friendly games, while Pippo Inzaghi has finally got his first goals for Italy.

After a successful World Cup, the focus is now on France’s domestic game, with the top flight getting a four page feature.


Kevin Phillips is the cover star of Match as he gives the lowdown on the men looking to take his Golden Boot off him in 2000-2001.

Trying to recover from injury, Ronaldo (The original one, not Cristiano) releases a video as he aims to prove his fitness.

John Aloisi of Coventry gets interviewed as to his firsts, his first football kit was a Juventus one, and his first concert was an Italian singer whose name he can’t pronounce.

There is a double page spread on Kevin Phillips analysing his rivals for the Golden Boot such as Andy Cole, Thierry Henry and Carl Cort.

Continuing the theme of strikers in this episode, Match does a feature on new strikers in the Premier League such as Alen Boksic, Sergei Rebrov, Mark Viduka and Luc Nilis.

Emile Heskey gets a triple page feature, as he admits that Spurs and Leeds were never in the running when he was leaving Leicester.

It’s not all strikers, as some defenders are interviewed ………. as the who the best Premier League striker is. Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp were the most nominated.


Today saw the announcement of the retirement from football of Ronaldo. No doubt, when the news broke, a lot of people will have thought it was Cristiano Ronaldo, before realising, it was “The other Ronaldo”

There was once a time when Ronaldo was Ronaldo, and Cristiano Ronaldo was “The other Ronaldo”

I remember Gary Lineker stating as a pundit before Brazil’s opening match of the 1994 World Cup that Brazilian team-mates at Grampus 8 had told him Ronaldo (Then in the squad as an 18 year old) was going to be a major star.

The 1994 World Cup would come too soon for him, but by the time of the 1998 World Cup, he was the world’s biggest football star.

He burst onto the scene in the eyes of the British public during the 1996/1997 season, his only season at Barcelona.

Sir Bobby Robson was manager of Barcelona, and as a result, they featured prominently in the round-up of the rest of the football news.

To put things into perspective, the only foreign football on British TV then was the World Cup, and the European Cup Final.

When Man United went out of the European Cup group stages in 1994, ITV didn’t show another live game until the final.

That may sound strange in this age of Spanish football on Sky every week and every Champions League game live on TV.

It only added to the mystique around him. The BBC treated us to live coverage of Spartak Moscow v Inter Milan in a UEFA Cup Semi-Final on a Tuesday afternoon in 1998.

The pitch, if you could call it that, was sand, but it didn’t matter, Ronaldo single handedly destroyed them.

As with any great player, enjoy, admire, aspire.

Enjoy some Youtube clips of his finest moments.