Brazilian football legend, Ronaldo da Lima has warned the directors at Barcelona football club to stop displaying ‘dark arts’ when they are involved in negotiations with top players, as that was one of the reasons he left the club in 1997, saying such fate could also befall them in Lionel Messi’s current contract negotiations.
Lionel Messi, who is yet to agree a new deal with Barcelona, barely has 17 months left on his current Barcelona contract as he wishes to be paid higher than Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldo, a former Barcelona player feels Barcelona wants to manipulate the situation so that he could be sold to the highest bidder just like they did to him in 1997.
He told Resenha on ESPN: “The experience [in Barcelona] was wonderful, but it was not possible to continue although that was not my fault.
“I had reached an agreement to renew my contract just a month before that season was over. But a week later, Barcelona’s lawyer and president agreed that the contract was absurd, so they would accept the offer of any club that would pay my 29 million euro release clause.”
“In Barcelona, even today, the club are into these dark arts in their negotiations. They act in a different way, for instance with the ‘Neymar case’. I believe we still do not know what happened.” here are many serious issues and someone is going to pay dearly for them.”
Italian agent, Giovanni Branchini, who, along with Reinaldo Pitta and Alexandre Martins, acted as the representative of Ronaldo, recently recalled the tense negotiations with FC Barcelona when they wanted to renew his contract.
“Ronaldo had no intention of leaving Barcelona. He was comfortable there. The city was beautiful, he had completed a great first season and had become world renowned at the age of just 20.”
‘Before Christmas of 1996, the Barcelona directors wanted to tie him down to a more secure deal, eliminating the release clause in his contract which would allow him to leave for a certain amount of money. The problem was that, as the law was drawn up, it was the worker that had to pay out of their pocket to resolve their contract.”
”We were able to insert a clause which stated that the Brazilian reserved the right to go to any club which paid the clause for him What we (i, Ronaldo and Barca) had agreed just three hours previously, was no longer true. I thought I was dreaming. In reality, I was in anguish.
‘I knew I had to do my job until the end, and that meant breaking the work relationship with a club such as the glorious Barcelona.’I went back to the hotel with Pitta and Martins after midnight, and after a furious argument with a lawyer and the club president.
‘The vice-president Gaspart, who knew we were serious, tried until the end to leave the negotiation open, but the proverbial arrogance of Barcelona made any agreement impossible”, concludes Branchini.
”When Ronaldo found out, he was very resentful about how they acted during the months of negotiations. From that moment, Barça became a part of his past”