Sir Alex Ferguson offered Cristiano Ronaldo to Barcelona as he did not want the Portuguese star to join Real Madrid.
That is according to former Madrid president Ramon Calderon, who was the club’s supremo when the global superstar agreed the switch to La Liga – although he was replaced by Florentino Perez in the position that summer.
Ronaldo joined Los Blancos from the then English champions in the summer of 2009 but the deal itself was concluded the previous year.
Calderon has now revealed that United were hopeful that they could somehow block the deal for the Portugal international, and even tried to offer him to their El Clasico rivals Barcelona instead.
Indeed, just months earlier the Catalan giants defeated United 2-0 in the Champions League final with the Red Devils intent on trying to find Ronaldo another buyer.
“The signing was carried out between me and Cristiano over 2007 and 2008,” Calderon revealed, as cited by Diario AS. “It was a difficult negotiation with Manchester United because they did not want to lose the player but he was very clear about what he wanted.
“He wanted to join Real Madrid and it was a unique opportunity for us, so I took advantage of it.
“(Alex) Ferguson did not want him to leave and in particular he did not want him to join Madrid, as we had won even more trophies than Manchester United, so he offered the player to Barcelona instead.
“Barcelona were delighted with the opportunity but Ronaldo was very clear about the commitment he had with Madrid and a document that had already been signed.
“There was a document with a signature that, if either the club or the player had breached the deal, he would have to pay €30m to the other party.”
Ronaldo went on to become the record scorer in Madrid’s history and joined Juventus for €100m in the summer of 2018.