The one that got away, the superstar that almost joined Manchester United

Manchester United would have not signed United if they got this legend

By Michail-Angelos Grigoropoulos

Sir Alex was frustrated after not landing this player back in the day
Sir Alex was frustrated after not landing this player back in the day
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The list of what if transfers is one that is endless and there are so many legendary ones. What if Messi joined Manchester City? What if Ronaldo went to Arsenal instead of Manchester United? What if CR7 stayed at United instead of going to Real Madrid? It’s something that as a football fan you can think about for a long time. And Manchester United have had their fair share of this.

Post Ferguson, United have had a couple of those with the likes of Toni Kroos, Thiago, Cesc Fabregas, Gareth Bale, and Antoine Griezmann as players that were very close to United. All of them did not come for various reasons, but it would have been players that would have been absolute game changers for the club. United have been crying for midfielders for a very long time and Kroos and Thiago have been two of the best midfielders in the world in the last decade.

But it’s not just post Ferguson where the what ifs happened. The biggest what if happened in the summer of 2003 in what was a transfer domino that shaped the future of football. Without that transfer domino, football as we know it today does not exist. It all started with the departure of David Beckham from Manchester United. The global superstar was forced out of Manchester United in the summer of 2003 and was on the verge of being sold to Barcelona, but the player refused to move there.

Beckham would only move to Real Madrid and that is where the player would move to, which left Barcelona without a winger. That was soon to change as they signed future Ballon D’or winner in Ronaldinho who was meant to go to Manchester United. That left United with no winger now and they would go on to sign a future five-time Ballon D’or winner in Cristiano Ronaldo. What a fascinating domino.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s feelings on not getting Ronaldinho

According to Rio Ferdinand the manager was not happy about losing that kind of talent. Ferdinand said ““It was only on the disappointment of not signing Ronaldinho that summer. We tried to sign Ronaldinho and he chose to leave Paris Saint-Germain and went to Barcelona. I remember the manager was devastated.”

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