‘Messi the only player who can do what Ronaldo did’ – Brazilian striker hailed by ex-Barcelona star Garcia

Goal.com

Lionel Messi is the only player capable of matching the skill set once boasted by former Barcelona striker and two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo, claims Oscar Garcia.

Those at Camp Nou have been fortunate enough to witness some remarkable talent down the years, with much of that arriving on their books from South America.

Ronaldo was one such star, with a memorable one-season stint in Catalunya seeing him record 47 goals across the 1996-97 campaign as he captured the imagination of a global audience.

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Those he played alongside were as impressed as the watching world, with Garcia among those left stunned by the remarkable ability possessed by a Brazil international.

The former Barca midfielder claims to have seen nothing like Ronaldo until Messi came along, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner currently on the books at Camp Nou having raised the bar of individual brilliance even further.

Garcia told Marca of his experiences alongside a three-time World Player of the Year winner: "I was lucky to be very close to him for some of his goals, I saw how fast he was moving, it was even difficult to catch him to celebrate goals, he was still at the same speed.

"From his very first training sessions we saw that he was a different player and that he was going to help us a lot.

"You just knew he was going to be a world star, and he was, but what caught my attention most was his humility, he treated everyone the same and was always smiling and joking, he gained confidence very quickly."

Ronaldo Nazario Barcelona Real Madrid
Ronaldo Nazario Barcelona Real Madrid

Garcia added on Ronaldo: "Until the arrival of Messi, I hadn't seen a player who drove with the ball at that speed.

"I have only seen him and Messi do that.

"I have been fortunate to have many great team-mates, but without a doubt Ronaldo is in the top three."

Abelardo Fernandez was another of those to have been on Barcelona’s books when Ronaldo was snapped up from PSV, and he also holds the Brazilian in the highest regard.

Fernandez added: "He was spectacular, the most powerful striker I have ever played with.

"I only worked with him for a single season at Barcelona, but I think that was his best season, he was only 20.

"His goal against Compostela [in October 1996] perfectly illustrated what Ronaldo was at that time, it had everything: strength, speed, control of the ball and the goal was always in his eye-line."

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