Cristiano Ronaldo was almost snapped up by Valencia, according to the club's former sporting director Amedeo Carboni.
In the wake of the World Cup 2006 where Ronaldo endured a possible rift with then-Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney, the Portuguese decided to leave the club for a move to Spain.
Carboni, explaining the healthy financial situation of Valencia back then, said that everything about the Ronaldo transfer was heading in the right direction. He even added that Ronaldo's fractured relationship with Manchester United and their fans helped the Spanish club, but the move ultimately did not materialise.
In fact, the paperworks were also ready and signed by agent Jorge Mendes. Ronaldo, however, was retained by the Red Devils for another three years before a tempting, historic Real Madrid move prised him away from English football.
"We had found the financial resources to get Ronaldo," says Carboni
Ronaldo joined Manchester United from Sporting CP in 2003 and went on to amass 292 appearances for the club. He netted an impressive 118 goals across that time frame, winning three Premier League titles and the coveted Ballon d'Or, accolade among other honours.
However, Ronaldo was involved in the sending-off of Wayne Rooney during the 2006 World Cup, even appearing to wink at the former Manchester United forward after he was given his marching orders.
That didn't sit too well with a large section of the fans, who according to him, did not back him at all.
Back in 2006, Ronaldo said:
“I think I should get out of Manchester. The circumstances are not right to keep playing in Manchester. In two or three days I will decide where to go. I always said I wanted to play in Spain. Nobody stood up for me at Manchester, although I did not do anybody any harm.”
Reflecting on the Ronaldo transfer saga back then, former Valencia sporting director Carboni said:
“I arrived at the right time, Valencia was the city that benefited most from this economic, social and sporting 'boom'. We had found the financial resources to get him, we had made arrangements with Nike and Coca Cola - the player's sponsors."
"Then we reached the stage where Cristiano had argued with Manchester United. In 2006-07 Valencia was experiencing a 'boom' and I had his 'yes' to sign him.”
Surprisingly though, the move did not attain fruition despite agreement between both parties. Manchester United had apparently called off the deal.
“The contracts signed by [Jorge] Mendes, nothing was missing between Ronaldo, his agent and myself. The deal, however, did not materialise,” concluded Carboni.
Ronaldo is fondly remembered by the Manchester United faithful till date, as he became one of the finest in the world at Old Trafford, besides being an integral part of one of Sir Alex Ferguson's best Manchester United teams.
Published 08 Aug 2020, 13:01 IST