FC Barcelona former president Juan Laporta revealed how a Portuguese famous professional footballer was on the brink of making a transfer to Barcelona for €17 million (£14.3m).
At the age of 18, Ronaldo made his departure from Sporting CP and joined Manchester United where he was making his contribution for 6 years.
In 2009, the famous player waved goodbye to Manchester United and signed his contract with one of the biggest teams in the world – Real Madrid, becoming the world’s most expensive player at the time. He achieved an enormous success for this club, as Real Madrid, together with Ronaldo among its ranks, won the Champions League twice, in 2013-14 as well as in 2015-16.
However, Barcelona could have had the Real Madrid forward in 2003, but they turned the offer down because they already made a huge investment on the other players:
‘When we [the new administration] arrived, we signed Ronaldinho, [Rafael] Marquez and [Ricardo] Quaresma,’ said Laporta to AS.
“We were in a process of reconstruction. Cristiano was at Sporting CP and he was close to signing for United.” And added: “The player’s agent, who was handling Marquez and Quaresma said ‘I’ve got another really good player who’s called Cristiano Ronaldo. We told him we knew about him and he offered him to us for two million [euros] cheaper than to United, who ended up paying 19 million.”
The long-awaited first Clasico of the season will be taking place on Saturday December 3. Barcelona will enter the match with six points behind Real Madrid, due to their uncertain start in the league. Real Madrid lately won 2-1 against Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu.