It’s not everyday that you play against one of the greats of the game and Titus Bramble was very keen to make this rare opportunity count.
The former Ipswich defender faced Brazilian icon Ronaldo when Tractor Boys took on Inter in a UEFA Cup tie in December 2001.
Ipswich went into the second leg one goal clear but the Italian giants duly knocked them out, winning 4-1 at the San Siro.
Of course, every footballer is programmed to fight until the bitter end, however, Bramble’s former Ipswich team-mate Darren Bent believes the centre-back’s head may have been elsewhere towards the end of the game.
“When I was at Ipswich, we played Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup and it was the first return game for the Brazilian Ronaldo. [from injury]”Bent told talkSPORT.
“Titus Bramble for the last ten minutes paid no attention to the game.
“In the corners all he kept saying was ‘Shirt’, shirt, shirt, shirt, shirt,” Ronaldo agreed, but was probably frustrated with the number of times he asked him.
“The final whistle sounds, Ronaldo trots down the tunnel. Titus doesn’t even mind the Ipswich fans who have traveled this far, he just shoots into the tunnel and takes Ronaldo’s shirt.
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More than 20 years after this match, Bramble could have the last word because he is in possession of a jersey that could be worth a few bobs.
After all, Diego Maradona’s 1986 World Cup shirt is worth millions – although it’s safe to say that Bent and Drive host Andy Goldstein has very different ideas about the value of the shirt…
Darren: It must be worth an absolute fortune… over a million pounds.
Darren: Why wouldn’t he? Brazilian Ronaldo.
Andy: Why would it be worth £1million? It was not a final.
Darren: It was an original game and his first game after a year-long injury.
Andy: No, you massively overstated that!
Darren: What do you think then?
Andy: £20,000, maybe 15.
Darren: No way, you’ll get more than that.
Andy: £1m, where did you get that from? There are going to be tons of these shirts.
Darren: Loads of shirts where he came back from injury?
Andy: Lots of players coming back from injury… I hope you didn’t offer him that money!
Darren: I will find one online that will be worth over £20,000.
Over to you, Sotheby’s.
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