On Friday, we reported Cristiano Ronaldo’s frank confession of how he came close to signing for Arsenal instead of their Premier League rivals Manchester United in 2003. We now have Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s side of the story.
The French professor too has let the cat slip out of the bag and told The Guardian:
“I had Ronaldo at the training ground, I showed him around and I gave him a shirt. It has got his name on the back. What killed the deal was that United came back from the States and played against Sporting Lisbon.
“Ronaldo was man of the match. The United players must have been dead coming out of the plane and Ronaldo was fresh so he must have been even more dominant. United had a partnership agreement with Lisbon and in that partnership they played them after coming back from the States.
“There was also Carlos Quieroz. He knew Ronaldo well and since then, United have signed Anderson and Nani from Portugal because of Carlos Quieroz. It’s like I can sign from France because I know them well.”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If only Arsenal had as much money as Man United during that time, then the Gunners would have been gunning the Premier League as well as Europe. Maybe Wenger should try and extend his contacts from France to other parts of Europe.