'Cruyff wanted Aimar, Barca bought Ronaldinho'

The Catalans president Sandro Rosell claims the Dutch icon's bitterness towards the club started when his suggestions were ignored in 2003
Johan Cruyff's resentment towards Barcelona's hierarchy started with a dispute over transfer targets, according to club president Sandro Rosell, who revealed the likes of Ronaldinho were bought over the Dutchman's suggestions.

The legendary Netherlands forward, who coached the Catalans between 1988 and 1996, has been embroiled in a number of public feuds with the club and Rosell in particular in recent seasons, and claims he will not attend a match at Camp Nou as long as the 49-year-old remains at the helm.

Rosell believes the long-standing rift with Cruyff stems from the decision to ignore his advice over transfer targets in the summer of 2003, when the Blaugrana sealed the signing of Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain.

"It comes from my days as vice-president," he told Cadena SER. "He advised a triple signing of [Pablo] Aimar, [David] Albelda and [Roberto] Ayala and we bought Ronaldinho, Deco, Edmilson and [Rafael] Marquez. That's where the resentment started, I think.

"If he doesn't come [to Camp Nou], we'll have one more space. If I have to argue to defend Barcelona, I will."

Barcelona's transfer activity this summer was largely restricted to one major signing - Brazilian forward Neymar for €57 million - although Ibrahim Afellay and Isaac Cuenca returned from loans at Schalke and Ajax respectively.