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Pique claims Ronaldo nearly joined Barcelona

"Cristiano Ronaldo" by dalli58 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Real Madrid legend’s legacy in LaLiga could’ve taken a very different turn.

Cristiano Ronaldo was ‘once close’ to joining Barcelona before his move to Real Madrid, according to Gerard Pique.

Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 from Manchester United for a then world-record fee of €94 million. He then embarked on a legacy in the Spanish capital like no other. In 438 games, he scored a record 450 goals and helped the club beat their Catalan rivals to many major honors – including two LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns.

But if Pique is right, the Portuguese’s story in Spain could’ve taken a very different turn.

“Cristiano was once close to Barca before he signed for Madrid. Same for Vinicius [Junior],” the Barca defender said on Ibai’s Twitch channel.

Pique partnered with Ronaldo at Manchester United for four years between 2004 and 2008. He then rejoined Barcelona and has remained an ever-present figure in the Blaugrana defense ever since.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, has since played for Juventus and Manchester United for a second time after leaving Real Madrid in 2018.

The 36-year-old returned to Manchester on Saturday from Dubai ahead of the club’s fourth-round FA Cup clash with Championship side Middlesbrough this Friday.