Arsenal were just “a few days” late in signing Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Arsene Wenger.
Arsene Wenger, the legendary Arsenal manager, has revealed how close his team came to signing Cristiano Ronaldo before the player was signed by Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal missed out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo by “a few days” before Manchester United signed the Portuguese phenomenon.
Ronaldo first signed for United in 2003, when he was still a relatively unknown quantity despite having impressed across Europe as a teenager.
However, after being given the no.7 shirt by Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo quickly rose to prominence, winning the Ballon d’Or with United just five years later before leaving to Real Madrid in 2009.
It was a devastating loss for Wenger and Arsenal, and the famous Gunners manager has revealed how close they were to signing the Sporting Lisbon star.
Wenger was asked who he regretted not signing while at Arsenal in a Qandamp;A with SPORTbible hosted by Wenger’s former striker Ian Wright, & this was me with a fast response.
Wenger stated, ” “Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese footballer who plays for Real Madrid. I believe it was doable, and it could have been a few days if we had been a little faster, because we had agreed and Manchester United arrived five or six days later.” Despite the fact that Ronaldo had already verbally agreed to join Arsenal, United played Sporting in a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2003-04 season, and Ferguson was reputedly so delighted with the Portuguese star’s performance that he refused to leave until the club signed him.
Let your voice be heard! With Cristiano Ronaldo, would Arsenal have dominated the Premier League? Let us know what you think in the comments area. Ferguson achieved his desire when United agreed to pay £12.25 million for Ronaldo, and while Arsenal went on to have their legendary invincible season that year without him, failing to sign him did hurt them in the long run.
Ronaldo went on to win five Ballon d’Or awards during his career and has now returned to United after a 12-year absence to cap off a brilliant career at the club where he developed into a complete player.
The 36-year-old has nine goals in 12 games for United this season in all competitions, and has nearly single-handedly kept their Champions League chances alive with two late winners and a last-minute equalizer.