Romário (1993), Ronaldo (1996), Rivaldo (1997), Ronaldinho (2003) and Neymar (2013). Neymar joins a heritage line of Brazilian forwards made up of four of the greatest front men of the last few decades. All of them achieved success at the Camp Nou – now it’s Neymar da Silva’s turn.
Romário and Ronaldo flit in and out
Romário captured the hearts of the Barça fans with a magical campaign in the 1993-4 season, when he was nicknamed the “cartoon footballer” for some of extraordinary skills When he signed, he promised 30 league goals and he fulfilled his promise as Cruyff’s Dream Team sparkled and thrilled carrying all before them to take their fourth straight title. Romario returned to Brazil half way through the following season.
Soon after Romario’s departure the 19-year-old Ronaldo arrived at the Camp Nou. He was a tremendously powerful and skilful striker and in the single season he was at Barça he notched up 47 goals in 51 games including some all-time classics, such as the one in Compostella or the hat trick against Valencia.
Rivaldo and Ronaldinho inspire a generation
When Ronaldo moved to Inter, Rivaldo came to the Camp Nou from Deportivo. Rivaldo became the star of Van Gaal’s two league winning teams, with his delicate left foot and wonderful ability to beat a man. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999 and as the team’s fortunes waned for a while, he helped to keep them in the front line.
The arrival of Ronaldinho in 2003 marked a turning point in the Club’s fortunes and brought a smile back to the fans’ faces. After a five year drought without a single title, he inspired the team to their second European Cup in Paris and won the World Player of the Year award himself in 2005.
Evaristo, Giovanni and Anderson
Romário, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo were maybe Barça’s most successful Brazilian front men, but they weren’t the only ones to please the Camp Nou crowd. For example in the 1950s, Evaristo de Macedo scored 173 goals in 219 games. Decades later at the end of the 90s, Giovanni Silva and Sony Anderson also put in some fine performances.