Ex-Manchester United Chief Executive Peter Kenyon has opened up on the club’s attempts to sign Ronaldinho.
The Brazilian midfielder emerged as one of the top players in Europe after playing a starring role in his country’s 2002 World Cup triumph in South Korea and Japan.
Ronaldinho was plying his trade at club level with Paris Saint-Germain at the time, but he made his way to Barcelona a year later after a €30 million deal was agreed between the two clubs.
He became a La Liga, Champions League and Ballon d’Or winner during his time at Camp Nou, while scoring 90 goals in 240 appearances across all competitions.
Ronaldinho left the club to join Milan in 2008, where he spent three seasons before returning to his homeland to wind his career down.
The former Brazil international could have taken a decidedly different path had he opted to join United instead of Barca in the summer of 2003.
The Red Devils ultimately failed to lure Ronaldinho to Old Trafford after a well-documented pursuit, with Kenyon admitting that the club was ready to pay a lucrative fee that went way beyond his market value.
“We did try really hard for Ronaldinho and in the end, we offered what was a load of money, even by our standards,” Kenyon told The Telegraph.
“Getting the player for the amount of money paid didn’t sit well at United. There was a decision that if he is right and we do want him we will pay, because we could.”
“It crossed the line and on reflection – and this is not about his ability – it turned out to be a great decision.”
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