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Why Ronaldo snubbed Gers.

Brazilian superstar Ronaldo last night admitted he might have joined Rangers if they had stronger opposition in Scotland.

Gers chief David Murray tried to buy the Barcelona striker, who is heading to Inter Milan for pounds 18million this summer.

Ronaldo knocked back the offer but he insists his decision was nothing to do with money.

The 20-year-old, who helped Brazil sweep into the semi-finals of the Copa America on Sunday, said: "With respect to David Murray and Rangers, I told them I did not want to proceed, no matter how much money was offered. What is there for me in Scotland?

"What kind of league is that? What other clubs would I find interesting apart from Rangers? I did not want to move there."

Ronaldo's agent Vinicio Fiorenelli described the Rangers offer as "massive".

But he added: "One of the reasons Ronaldo could not go to Scotland was that there is no obvious Brazilian link to that country's culture or industry."

Barcelona are still contesting Ronaldo's move to Italy.

And yesterday their bid to keep the player received backing from the Spanish Football Federation.

Ronaldo took advantage of a clause allowing him to buy out his contract but Barcelona claim that was only valid if he moved to another Spanish team.

Club president Jose Luis Nunez maintains the striker is still a Barcelona player and will demand he plays in this weekend's Spanish Cup Final if Brazil fail to reach the final of Copa America.

Rangers, meanwhile, launched their pre-season yesterday minus most of their pounds 13m summer signings.

Norway's Staale Stensaas was the only expensive new boy to report.

Walter Smith allowed his Italian recruits Sergio Porrini, Lorenzo Amoruso and Marco Negri time off after a late finish in Serie A.

New keeper Antti Niemi will arrive at the weekend and Jonas Thern will sign on July 1 from Roma.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:McCARTHY, DAVID
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 24, 1997
Words:311
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