Ronaldinho was ’48 hours’ from signing for Man United

Ronaldinho says he came within "48 hours" of joining Manchester United before his transfer to Barcelona back in 2003

sir alex ferguson
Ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson Photo: The Sport Review

Ronaldinho has revealed that he came within “48 hours” of joining Manchester United before his transfer to Barcelona back in 2003.

The former Brazil international had been touted as a target for ex-United boss Sir Alex Ferguson following the sale of David Beckham to Real Madrid after the end of the 2002-03 season.

However, Ronaldinho says that he already had an agreement in place to move from Paris Saint-Germain to Camp Nou with Sandro Rosell, who was incoming Barca president Joan Laporta’s senior advisor at the time.

“It almost happened with United. It was a matter of 48 hours, but Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: ‘If I become Barça president, will you come?’ I said yes,” Ronaldinho told FourFourTwo magazine.

“It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there.

“I had promised to him that I’d play for Barça. It was a quick negotiation. I told the English I had chosen Barca.”

Ronaldinho, now 34, went on to score 70 La Liga goals in 145 games for Barcelona before his transfer to AC Milan in 2008.

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