The reason why Ronaldo was never paired up with Messi has finally been revealed by former Barcelona president Laporta.
Ronaldinho was the reason then-Barcelona president Joan Laporta ‘rejected’ signing a young Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.
Laporta, who served as the club’s president between 2003 and 2010, doesn’t regret his decision to not sign Ronaldo, who has since become a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and one of the greatest of all-time.
The 58-year-old, who hopes to be re-elected as club president this year, explained Barca already invested €32.25m to sign Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003 and had no need for a player like Ronaldo.
“We were about to sign Ronaldinho and Rafa Marquez,” Laporta said in an interview with Twitter user ‘Iniestazo’.
“Marquez’s people proposed Cristiano Ronaldo to us. He was at Sporting Clube at the time.
“One of his agents said that they had a player who they had sold to [Manchester] United for 19 million, but they’d sell him to us for 17 million.
“But we had already invested in Ronaldinho at the time. Cristiano played more out wide than in the center. We thought we were covered, so we rejected him and I don’t regret it.”
ENTREVISTA EXCLUSIVA A JOAN LAPORTA: MESSI, BARTOMEU, LA MASÍA, CRUYFF, ROSELL, SU PASADO… https://t.co/4DBLEptOXO
— Iniestazo (@INIE8TAZO) January 10, 2021