Paul Scholes reveals that Manchester United was really close in signing Ronaldinho, the club even picked a jersey number for him.
Ronaldinho was a hot prospect at the start of this century and was linked to various top clubs across Europe after his skilful display of game attracted a lot of managers.
Even Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t immune to it and approached him, and according to Paul Scholes, the Brazilian International was very near in signing for the Red Devils.
“Ferguson had it inside. The club was already preparing the presentation and there was already a jersey number ready for him, but I think he changed his mind at the last minute and chose Barcelona, ’says Scholes.
“It was really crazy because I remember that we were all very enthusiastic. Ronaldinho, what a player! We were all happy to play with him, he would add something special to our team.”
“A bit similar to what Eric Cantona unleashed. But he did not come and a few days later we played a practice match against Barcelona. Then we all tried to kick him because he didn’t sign for us. “
Ronaldinho went onto become one of the most decorated club legends at Barcelona and played a crucial role in breaking Real Madrid’s hegemony in those years.
Anyway, Scholes couldn’t blame Ronaldinho to snub Manchester United for Barcelona, as even he admitted that he would have considered playing for Barcelona.
But if Ronaldinho had joined Manchester United, then it would have been interesting to see his game-play in the Premier League. However, more than that Ferguson might have had a huge problem with his nightlife.
Anyway, it totally ended up being a good thing for Cristiano Ronaldo who was signed by Manchester United at the same time, and the absence of a marquee player like Ronaldinho helped him to groom.