After a rocky transfer window deadline in England, this is a perfect time to remember the day when Ronaldinho rejected Man United.
It’s safe to say that Ronaldinho is one of the best players in modern football history, he is one of the few who had the balls to reject Man United.
This story is not as plain as it sounds, there is a lot of juicy content to it and you’ll see nuanced details about the whole situation.
This was right when Ronaldinho was on the brink of becoming the best player in the world, he spent a few years at PSG in order to grow into the world-class player he eventually became.
After a few seasons in France, he was finally ready to make the jump to one of the best clubs in the world.
The most obvious destination was England, the Premier League was booming at that time over any other competition in the world.
The options were still limited but Manchester United was extremely keen on making the effort to sign this young star.
This was the time in which Peter Kenyon was the man who made everything happen at the club, the biggest transfers between 1997 and 2003 were possible thanks to him.
On the same year of his retirement in that last year, he was convinced to move to Chelsea and left the Red Devils hanging.
His absence in the attempt to sign Ronaldinho was the reason he didn’t go to Old Trafford in the end, that and Sandro Rossell’s brilliant marketing strategy to seduce the Brazilian player.
Manchester United failed to sign Ronaldinho in 2003, weeks later they signed Cristiano Ronaldo; become a club legend. https://t.co/Ymgl096R
— Premier League News (@BarclaysLeague) June 5, 2012
The player himself recalled the way it all happened, he was practically sealed with the Red Devils but a slick Sandro came in to save the day for Barcelona.
During that era, Rossell was one of the chief executives of Nike Brazil. As one of the main faces of that sportswear company, Ronaldinho was one of his biggest clients and his ties to Barcelona were the reason everything happened.
“Everything was beautiful and happened fast,” said Roandlinho via ESPN.
“A great friend of mine was about to become a part of the Barcelona board: Sandro Rosell.”
“Before the offers came, he had asked me if I would play in Barcelona when they won the election and became the presidents, and I had said ‘Yes.'”
“I was almost on my way to Manchester United and only the details needed to be put onto that deal. But in the last minute, Rosell called me to tell me they would win the election. That made everything happen fast.”
“I wanted to play in Barcelona. When I signed, I didn’t feel pressure, I felt joy. I had the chance that all of the players wanted, to play in a great club like Barcelona.”
“I had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my idols. I was proud to play where Romario, Ronaldo, and Rivaldo had played and I had the chance to be Barcelona’s new ‘R.’ I loved that,” he concluded.
— Sportyou (@SportYou) April 20, 2017
The importance of Brazilian players in Barcelona.
Sandro Rossell’s brilliant strategy makes perfect sense once you look at all the recent history that Brazilian players had at the Catalan club.
We all know how it all happened since Romario came to Catalonia, he was the pioneer of all the Brazilians that came after him.
We got only one season of Ronaldo Nazario after that, it was short but magical. Rivaldo was also very important for the club, but Ronaldinho was the one who changed it all for the Spanish giants.
The fact that Sandro Rossell was smart enough to use that as a way to convince the young star is simply brilliant.
In a sense, Manchester United never really had a chance to sign Ronaldinho because he was destined to play in Barcelona.
The things he did on the pitch are still among the most impressive displays of talent anybody ever witnessed.
Even Diego Maradona himself surrendered to Dinho’s sorcery, the Argentine legend’s first reaction when they met was to kiss his hand.
That kind of devotion can only come from the gut, especially from a player as legendary as Maradona.
A lot of people still don’t understand how incredible Ronaldinho was, we are happy to say that we totally do.
Ronaldinho anunció su retiro. Estuvo cerca de fichar por el Manchester United en 2003.
Hasta siempre, leyenda! 👏🏼🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/yoyNRVmctR
— Futbol de Inglaterra (@Mercado_Ingles) September 9, 2016
What do you think life would’ve been for Ronaldinho at Manchester United? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.