Calderon: Ronaldo “offered” to Barca

Former Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo was offered to Barcelona by Manchester United.

Ronaldo joined Los Blancos in July 2009 for €80m following protracted negotiations between the clubs, and Calderon told Sky Sports’ Revista de la Liga programme of the difficulties involved in bringing him to the Spanish capital.

“He was going to come in 2008-09 and we were just about to do the deal when he [Ronaldo] phoned me.

“I was in Bogota for a friendly match and he called to say ‘I’m sorry President but I can’t go this year. I have a commitment with [Sir Alex] Ferguson and professionally he’s like a father to me in some ways. I really appreciate what the fans and the club are doing for me, but don’t worry I’ll go next year’.

“So that’s what happened. He negotiated to leave Manchester for €80m and we signed a deal in December, when they said it’s okay if Madrid comes in for him.

“It was funny, I don’t know why, but Ferguson is a bit obsessed with Real Madrid. He doesn’t like us very much, I have to say that.

“He then said no, Cristiano is not going to leave for Real Madrid and they offered the player to Barcelona, among other clubs, and Barca said that’s okay we are prepared to pay what you are asking.

“But the important thing was that the player said ‘no, it’s Real Madrid or nothing’, and that was perfect, so I’m very proud that he came and very proud how he’s doing, very proud that he is scoring goals and how he’s behaving.

“He is an example for anyone, for kids and their mates, although I have to say I don’t want to take any credit for it myself. I was there at the time it was done and anyone would have done the same as you can’t lose an opportunity like that.”

Calderon was asked about Ferguson’s comments at the time that United ‘wouldn’t sell a virus to Real Madrid’.

“Well, what they did was to accept that if in June Real Madrid made an offer of €80m there was no way to say anything. That’s why in June, at the end of June, there was no deal and just a letter sent in saying the money is there.

“I remember we had the money in the bank waiting for that. We didn’t want it to be a problem because Manchester United wanted the money in cash, not instalments, and that’s what happened so we could sign the deal,” he concluded.

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Ramon Calderon
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