Arsenal built Emirates Stadium but lost out on Cristiano Ronaldo: Jorge Mendes
Premier League club Arsenal failed to sign Cristiano Ronaldo as a 17-year-old because of the Gunners' plan to build the Emirates Stadium, says Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes.
"There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal. David Dein (the then vice chairman) is a spectacular person but, with the construction of their stadium, they were left with very little money and it wasn't possible," Mendes said in his biography, according to bbc.com.
Arsenal boss Frenchman Arsene Wenger had earlier said failing to sign the Portuguese forward before he joined rivals Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon was the biggest regret of his career, as he had already spent a week in trial.
Ronaldo scored 84 goals for United in 196 appearances before signing for Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009.