The one that got away: Ronaldinho and Manchester United

Manchester United has been home to some of the most famous players in recent times and they could have welcomed another star to their hall of fame had Ronaldinho not snubbed them at the very last minute.

Old Trafford and Sir Alex Ferguson are two of the most infamous sporting symbols in the world; the home of priceless memories, unforgettable games, countless trophies and the very man who orchestrated Manchester United’s unrivalled success for 26 years.

Those who’ve graced the pitch etched into footballing folklore.

So, it always comes as a shock, or maybe even a reality check, that a player could reject his chance to pull on the famous red shirt…

Ronaldinho – 2003

It would be a difficult task to find a footballer lover who didn’t know who Ronaldinho was growing up.

Now imagine Ronaldinho at Manchester United.

A match made in heaven. But one that sadly never materialised.

By his own admission, the Brazilian was only 48 hours away from signing for Manchester United before Barcelona and friend Sandro Rosell offered him the opportunity to play for Barcelona instead.

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

Rosell succeeded as president and the rest was history.

In a way, Manchester United fans can’t be too critical of his decision, or how things ended up for either party.

The club experienced major success under Sir Alex without the help of Ronaldinho, winning five major trophies, including the Champions League, in the six seasons he spent at Barcelona.

We also can’t forget the fact that a Cristiano Ronaldo entered the scene that very same year, who became a legend at Old Trafford in his own right.

On the other hand, the footballing world won when Ronaldinho transferred to Barcelona. Not only did we get to watch one of the finest footballers in the world, but we also saw a relatively unknown talent in Lionel Messi emerge under the guidance of the Brazilian to ultimately become one of the greatest of all time.

Ronaldinho – the one that got away.

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