Just How Close Did Ronaldinho Actually Come To Joining Man United?

Barcelona's Ronaldinho celebrates his goal.

REUTERS/Albert Gea

When the topic of how close certain footballers came to joining certain football clubs, one name always takes precedence; that of legendary Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho.

The buck toothed genius wowed crowds across Europe and the world during his time at PSG and Barcelona, but pundits and fans have always speculated about his proposed move to Manchester United that eventually broke down.

Various reports over the years have listed varying reasons for the move failing to materialize, with the Manchester weather and Ronaldinho’s preference for the lifestyle in Spain frequently mentioned as the deal breaker. Barcelona making Ronaldinho their priority after Real Madrid pipped them to the signing of David Beckham has also been repeatedly brought up as a deciding factor.

However, former United midfielder Quinton Fortune, who was at the club from 1999 until 2006, has now lifted the lid on the whole saga, placing the blame squarely on the notoriously damp and dismal Manchester weather. He also revealed that Dinho actually made it till the Manchester airport, presumably intending to hold talks with the club before the move eventually fell through.

“I think we got it wrong by bringing Ronaldinho in at the wrong time of year as it was raining that day he arrived at Manchester Airport,” said the South African, whilst speaking to Manchester United’s official website.

“Maybe it was summer anyway but, if we’d have timed it with the right day, it could have been a different story. It would have been absolutely amazing to have him here. He’s one of the greatest players ever to play football and entertained with his skill, fun and joy.”

While United ended up signing Brazilian Kleberson the same summer in an uneventful transfer in hindsight, his compatriot went to Barcelona instead, and the rest, as they say, is history.


Written by Naren Madan  

Freelance writer with an insatiable appetite for all things football. Up the Chels!


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