The Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi rivalry is no mere one. It began when the former moved to Real Madrid and the latter was blooming for Barcelona.
Much like the players themselves, their rivalry also happens to be a rather extraordinary one. In fact, it's now almost impossible to imagine Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi playing as teammates.
However, there allegedly was a point in time when the two legends came close to being united as teammates for a single club, as per former Real Madrid President, Ramón Calderón.
According to The Sun, Calderón recently spoke to AS and revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo was offered to Barcelona by Manchester United in 2009. This was because United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson preferred him moving to Barcelona (where Lionel Messi was just beginning to step things up) instead of Real Madrid.
Notably, Ramón Calderón was the one responsible for ultimately signing Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid and taking him to LaLiga. The former Los Blancos President had reportedly tried (and failed) to sign the Portuguese star, as Cristiano Ronaldo chose to stay at Manchester United for longer.
Calderón persisted and finally succeeded in signing Ronaldo to a record-breaking six-year deal worth €94 million, which was reportedly agreed on in December 2008.
The deal saw Ronaldo move to Madrid ahead of the 2009-10 season although Calderón wasn't around, having resigned as Real Madrid President in January 2009.
Speaking to AS, Calderón revealed when it was time for Ronaldo to leave Manchester United, the English giants offered him to Barcelona, who were the only other club who could afford him at the time.
This was because, as per Calderón, the Red Devils and Sir Alex Ferguson in particular, did not want Ronaldo to move to Madrid - a club that had won more trophies than United.
Calderón also claimed Barcelona expressed their interest but Ronaldo chose to represent Real Madrid instead.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo supposedly never had a choice as the contract signed in December 2018 included a clause that would have required him to pay Madrid €30 million if he joined any other club instead.
As Ronaldo went on to achieve greatness for Real Madrid while rivaling Lionel Messi at Barcelona, it's challenging to fathom what the two of them would have been like as teammates.
Would Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have played well together at Barcelona?
It is indeed very likely that, had Cristiano Ronaldo joined Lionel Messi at Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, football fans across the world would have been in for quite a treat.
The sight of an attack comprising of Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would have sent shivers down the spines of opponents who would've had to play against them.
Alas, a potential move to Barcelona never materialized as Ronaldo subsequently moved to Real Madrid, allowing the world to enjoy what has since been a riveting rivalry.Published 12 Jan 2021, 20:13 IST