Juventus talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has recently unvelied about that he was almost joining Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal back in 2003, but finally ended up at Fergi’s United from Sporting CP.
16 years past, the Gunners possessed the infamous ‘invincibles’ squad, with the likes of Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pirès and Thierry Henry, and the French manager was nearing a deal that would land the Leões youngster at the Borough of Islington.
However, the renowned friendly of United vs Sporting is what decided the Portuguese superstar’s future, as the Red Devils jumped onto signing the 18 year old Ronaldo for a fee of £12 million.
In a recent interview, the 34 year old said that he was under pursuit of several European heavyweights back then.
“There had been contacts with so many other teams, Valencia for example were one of them.” Ronaldo spoke to Malaysian outlet TV1.
“I met with Arsène Wenger and was about to go to Arsenal. I talked to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter too but after the friendly against Manchester United, who were already interested, they became even more interested and they sped up negotiations and signed me.” he added.
Following the arrival at Old Trafford, Ronaldo went onto three Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy in 2008, before leaving for the Spanish capital in 2009.