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Agent Reveals How Arsenal Missed Out On Signing Cristiano Ronaldo

The agent of Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed how close Arsenal came to signing the Portuguese attacker before he moved to Manchester United way back in 2003.

Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United

Ronaldo - It could have been so different

The agent of Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed how close Arsenal came to signing the Portuguese attacker before he moved to Manchester United.

The Daily Mail quote Jorge Mendes as saying that Arsenal had the chance to sign Ronaldo nine years ago when he was still at Sporting Lisbon, but with everything in place the Gunners stalled on finalising the deal.

This indecision opened the door for Man Utd, who found out first hand just how good Ronaldo was when they played Lisbon in a pre season friendly in 2003, and it was the United players who convinced Ferguson to snap him up.

The rest is history, as Ronaldo developed into one of the best players on the planet at Old Trafford and after six years was sold to Real Madrid for £80m. Mendes also revealed that both Spurs and Arsenal were interested in Nani, but again both were too slow to act of their interest. Here’s what he said to the Daily Mail:

‘I remember what happened to Ronaldo at Arsenal,’ Mendes said.

‘They watched him nine or ten times, and when everything seemed decided, then Manchester United played at the inauguration of the Alvaladze Stadium (Sporting Lisbon) and the players themselves urged Ferguson to buy him.

‘Nani was also followed by Tottenham and Arsenal, but as I say, who sleeps in business loses.’ Mendes is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Missing out on Ronaldo must go down as one of Arsene Wenger’s biggest regrets. Of course there is no way of knowing how he would have developed at Arsenal compared to United, but Wenger is a great nurturer of young talent, as is Fergie, so it’s highly likely Ronaldo would still have progressed into a world-wide super star. The only difference is Arsenal would probably have sold him to Barcelona instead of Real Madrid 😉



  1. John Ted

    April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

    We did the same in Di Maria, Juan Mata, Da Silva twins……etc

  2. owolabi

    April 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

    god did nt put his destiny wit us, dats wot happen wit cr7, bt 4 nani we did nt rgret 4 him, cus d guy did nt gud @all, watch out 4 oxlade chanberlain, nxt 4yrs pple will see him in high level dan ronaldo.

  3. Take9

    April 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Di Maria story was due to work permit issues, same as Ronaldinho and i think with Yaya Toure as well. im not really convinced we missed out on Juan Mata though, i dont really think he’s better than what we have.

  4. zdzis

    April 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Da Silva twins? Seriously? When did they become quality players? I’d take Chamberlain over Mata any day, even though Arsenal would surely benefit from having him this season. But one thing I think all of those players share is a disruptive attitude. I don’t know if Wenger could curb Cristiano’s antics, and I’m almost sure we’d end up as we did with Anelka several years before. This might have been one reason Arsenal were loath to conclude the business so early. Nani and Mata seem slightly more cultured though, so if Arsenal were really tracking them, they can be said to have been missed. But who doesn’t make mistakes? And Reyes and Hleb really looked exciting when they hit their stride at Emirates.

  5. Charlie

    April 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

    S**t happens. What about the managers who didn’t spot Ronaldos’ potential ? It will go down as a mistake by Arsene but I remember Ronaldo in his first season at Old Trafford and he showed no signs of getting to where he is now.

  6. nikkogunners

    April 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Alvarez Ricky, Peter Cheh, Ibrahimovic…

  7. You are mad

    April 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Oxlade is yet to make much of an impact at all stop pretending like he is one of the best players in the world

  8. Wanduta

    April 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    By that time wenger was not using young talents instead he had pires,Bergkamp strong men

  9. zdzis

    April 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    @You are mad: true, but class shows. The kid has a potential that easily matches what Mata has shown for Chelsea this season and that may prove to be greater than that in the future. That’s why I’m all for him over Mata.

  10. And_Arsene_Said

    April 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Were close to signing Messi too when Fab cam over from Barc, if true what the papers say.

  11. Pingback: Arsenal took too long to decide on Ronaldo allowing United to swoop – Daily Mail | Cristiano Ronaldo – Football Player Cristiano Ronaldo's News, Videos

  12. michael

    April 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    You guys shuld stop complaining n concentrate on issues,wenger must be made to sign world class players as the fans down here in nigeria can’t tolerate the thoughtof wengers lacadaisical aproach to giving arsenal fans wot they trully deserve,Hence,wenger shuld fire aaron ramsey cos his game will never improve,it is no news that arsenal needs players with prospects.tanx.

  13. Beejayswagz

    April 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    They also missed badly on 3 times world best(lionel messi)

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