Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken about the time he almost signed for Arsenal instead of Manchester United.
The Real Madrid superstar signed for Manchester United in 2003 after playing for Sporting his entire career. However, considering the talent he was, he was being watched by a couple of other clubs, Arsenal included.
The fact that he met with Arsene Wenger and even left that meeting with an Arsenal shirt is a pretty widely reported fact.
“He was very close to coming here. He has a number nine shirt with Ronaldo on the back from Arsenal Football Club,” Wenger was quoted as saying in 2013.
“What happened was that Carlos Queiroz went to Manchester United and they snapped him away from us because he knew him from Sporting.
“That’s what life is about. You give your best but sometimes you might find that people are stronger than you. That can happen as well.”
Now, the striker has spoken about how he came close to signing for the Gunners before Sporting’s former coach, Carlos Queiroz, got involved.
“Yes, it was not expected that United would be my team,” he told Marca [via Sport Witness].
“Other clubs had asked for me, like Valencia, Arsenal or Inter, but we played them and everyone knows what happened.”
He obviously chose United and had a fantastic career in the Premier League. During his time in England, he scored 118 goals and assisted 65 in 291 appearances in all competitions.
Could he have done the same for Arsenal?
Considering the squad we had in 2003, which included Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, I can’t even imagine the success we would have enjoyed.
But there’s no point wasting time on ‘what ifs’.