Former Barcelona president, Joan Gaspart has opened up on the signing of Brazilian legend Ronaldo from PSV Eindhoven in 1996 and recalled a bizarre tale on how he made it happen.
The striker who broke on to the world stage thanks to his exploits for PSV was wanted by every top European club in football, but Barcelona beat them to his signing by splashing out a £13.5m transfer fee for the Brazilian.
However, it took more than the money to entice Ronaldo, with Gaspart going on to reveal that he ended up dressing up as a waiter in order to secure the transfer.
"The signing of Ronaldo was out of a film. There was a problem because PSV [Eindhoven] backed out of selling him to us and included a clause in his contract that cancelled the transfer if the player didn't sign by a certain date. The days went by and Ronaldo's contract didn't arrive, so Jose Luis Nunez [the president before Gaspart] sent me to Miami, where the Brazilian national teamwere based, to make him sign it," Gaspart said to Idolos as quoted by the Mirror.
"I arrived and wasn't able to see Ronaldo very easily. There were some bouncers at his door in the hotel and they had orders not to let anyone through. I couldn't beat the two-metre-tall bouncers up because they'd have sent my flying with a single punch, but something occurred to me."
"I managed to get a hotel waiter to lend me his bow tie and jacket and he gave me a tray with a Coca-Cola on it. I went up to the floor the team were on in the lift and there were two bouncers there. I told them I had a drink for Ronaldo and I went in."
"I introduced myself to Ronaldo and he called his agent and told them that he'd been caught. I told him that we'd complain if he didn't sign and, in the end, an agreement was sped up. We hugged on the bed in his hotel room and finalised everything."
The effort paid off as Ronaldo was unstoppable for Barcelona during his one-year spell with them, scoring 47 goals in just 49 games before eventually moving to Inter Milan for a world-record transfer fee.