Cristiano Ronaldo could have had a very different career if he opted to sign with a different club than Manchester United back in 2003. The Portuguese superstar has revealed he was very close to sign with Arsenal 16 years ago before he decided to ink a deal with the Red Devils.
He, almost becoming an Arsenal player in 2003 is well known, but he has ‘admitted’ it again after appearing in a new ITV documentary. He was even presented with a Gunners shirt bearing his name and famous number seven.
“It’s true…very close, one step away [from Arsenal],” he said.
“They’re a fantastic club. It didn’t happen, but I appreciate what they did for me, especially Arsene Wenger. You know football, you never know where you’re going to play. The life is like that.”
Following a terrific campaign with Sporting Lisbon, the Portuguese drew a lot of attention, with Sir Alex Ferguson and his Manchester winning the race for the promising youngster. He was only 18 years old when he joined the English side, but Cristiano played 40 games in his first season in the Premier League.
After that, CR7 went to become one of the best players in the world with the Red Devils, taking them to win plenty of trophies both in England and abroad, as well as several individual awards.
If he chose to go to North London, Ronaldo wouldn’t have counted with the same opportunities he saw in Manchester, at least not in his first years. Counting with the likes of Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg, it would have been incredibly hard for the forward to earn a spot in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI.
It’s always interesting to imagine what would have happened if Cristiano joined Arsenal, but luckily for him, he found his way to Old Trafford instead, where he went to become a complete legend.
Still, maybe the combination of Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Cesc Fabregas would have made Arsenal an even scarier team.