While breaking the world transfer record for striker Ronaldo failed to deliver the Scudetto for Inter, the Brazilian was the outstanding player of the 1997/98 campaign as the Nerazzurri delivered continental success.
Continuing the amazing form shown at Barcelona, the €25 million acquisition was named 1997 European Footballer of the Year and would eventually score 34 times in all competitions for Inter.
The 20-year-old’s 25 goals in Serie A – two behind Capocannoniere Oliver Bierhoff – nearly swept the Biscione to a first title since 1989, but they lost controversially to eventual champions Juventus at the end of April.
Although Ronaldo scored prolifically, including a first Serie A hat-trick versus Lecce, it was the importance of his strikes, with his goals themselves securing 18 points that season.
In European competition the South American was arguably even more devastating when Inter reached the latter stages of the UEFA Cup that they would eventually win against fellow Italians Lazio.
El Fenomeno scored the only goal of the quarter-final first-leg against Schalke at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, struck twice against Spartak Moscow in Russia to secure a 4-2 aggregate victory and the third versus the Biancocelesti.
That final at the Parc des Princes in Paris could have been the crowning of a wonderful season, but for the disastrous collapse in the same city on international duty, as Brazil lost the World Cup final to hosts France.