Ronaldo has been hailed as the greatest player ever to feature in the Derby della Madonnina during his involvement by Inter icon Javier Zanetti.
During his time at the Nerazzurri, the Brazilian forward was often a decisive figure in the fixture, which will be played once again this weekend, with Zanetti being most impressed by his 1997/98 performances in which he scored twice in two games and was a menace in both.
However, Zanetti was also happy to share his thoughts on which Milan players he most dreaded facing whenever he took to the field against AC Milan.
“There is no doubt that in all of my time around this derby, the strongest player I’ve ever seen is our Ronaldo,” the current Biscione vice-president told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Particularly during the 1997/98 season, he was incredible. I had never seen anything like him before. He was devastating, exhilarating, he was like a Martian.
“The toughest opponent was Kaka. He was a monster, he was everywhere with his speed and was almost unstoppable. I remember one particular game when I chased him from one end of the field to the other and the San Siro applauded… but I had no oxygen left at the end of that sprint!
“[Sheva] also scored against us in a lot of games and he had it all. He had speed, heart, good dribbling and shooting and he was also a wonderful guy.”
In anticipating another exciting showdown this weekend, Zanetti pointed to Mauro Icardi as being a potential difference-maker and made an interesting comparison with a former teammate of his.
“Who does Icardi remind me of? I’d have to say that with the way he attacks, it would be Hernan Crespo,” he added. “Hernan was lethal in the penalty box. One of the best I’ve ever seen.”