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Robinho: “Messi wasn’t far away from the City move”

Robinho said that Sheikh Mansour had tried to sign two Ballon d’Or winners – one of them was Kaka, who was really close to joining the Citizens, the second was Lionel Messi, who was a bit more unrealistic but still not far away from a shocking move.

Exciting forward Robinho, lured from Real Madrid to the blue half of Manchester in September 2008, was the first major arrival after the club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group, according to Goal. He failed to show consistent performances there but he still believed in this project though.

The former Brazil international spoke about these two possible transfers as he said: “I spoke a few times with the owner Sheikh Mansour. He told me he was going to go big to get Kaka and Lionel Messi. Kaka was close. But Messi… I think Messi was beyond them. But I believed in the project. The Sheikh had the ambition to create the best team in the world and now look at them. They have the best manager in the world in Pep Guardiola and can go toe-to-toe with anyone.”

He also spoke about his reputation of a “party-boy”: “There was an image of me as a party guy. And yes, I liked to party. But you know, the English boys were going out more than the Brazilians! Joe Hart was out all the time, Micah Richards the same, Shaun Wright-Phillips was always out! But when the Brazilians went out we were always caught.”

Robinho made a comment about his chance of returning to the national team and he would be happy to do so: “If the manager Tite calls me, I will be over the moon. We [Brazil] have to set the world to rights. Sheesh, Germany. It was one of those: ‘Where were you?’ moments. I was at my friend’s house. It was the hardest football blow this country has taken.”