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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 07:22 GMT
Ronaldo praises Robson

Ronaldo lifted the Cup Winners Cup
Ronaldo was a huge success at Barcelona
Former World Player of the Year Ronaldo has hailed Sir Bobby Robson as one of the best coaches in the world.

The Newcastle manager celebrates his 70th birthday on Tuesday, and the Brazil striker led the accolades for the man who has spent more than 50 years in football.

"As a trainer without doubt he is one of the greatest in the world," Ronaldo said in a BBC documentary to be shown on 25 February.

"The best thing about him is his personality, his character - which is brilliant.

"With him you can talk about anything and everything and he has the ability to put a smile on your face. He is a fantastic man.

"He was like a father to me. Bobby Robson helped me to be consistent and helped me a lot with my career. Today he can enjoy the fruits of his labour."

Robson was the manager who brought Ronaldo over to Europe as a teenager when he was in charge of Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.

His pace and skill shone in Holland and later persuaded Robson to spend 20m on him when he was Barcelona coach.

In Robson's only season as Barca coach Ronaldo scored 47 goals in all competitions and helped the Catalan side win the 1997 European Cup Winners' Cup.

Bobby Robson helped me to deal with this pressure
Despite a hugely successful year Robson was moved upstairs as Barcelona's general manager to make way for Louis van Gaal.

But Ronaldo said the Englishman played a major part in his success at the Nou Camp.

"To be playing for a club like Barcelona at the tender age of 20 is not easy at all," he added.

"Bobby Robson helped me to deal with this pressure.

"It was a spectacular year. A year where out of four competitions we won three and came second in the league."

Links to more Football stories


Sir Bobby Robson: Just call me Bobby
Watch a sneak preview of the BBC documentary

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