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Barcelona rejected chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo for € 17million and I don’t regret it – Laporta

The 35-year-old forward was reportedly offered to the Catalan club before his move to Manchester United in 2003.

Barcelona were lucky enough to sign Cristiano Ronaldo before joining Manchester United, said former President Joan Laporta, adding that he did not regret missing the Portuguese.

The talismanic forward has been a prolific presence in front of goal during a career filled with trophies, with Ronaldo, 35, continuing to thrive with series A giants Juventus nowadays.

Indeed, his five Ballon d’Ors are only surpassed by Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who has six, both widely regarded as two of the best players to ever play the game.

And Laporta has now claimed that the pair could well have been teammates at Camp Nou, with the 58-year-old, who is running to be elected Barca president for the second time in the upcoming elections, revealing Barca have been offered the opportunity to sign Ronaldo.

“We were close to signing Ronaldinho and Rafa Marquez,” Laporta said in an interview with Iniestazo. “The people of Marquez suggested Cristiano Ronaldo to us. He was at Athletic at the time.

“One of his agents said they had a player they sold to [Manchester] United for 19 million, but they would sell it to us for 17 million.

“But we had already invested in Ronaldinho at the time. Cristiano played wider than center. We thought we were covered so we rejected him and I don’t regret it.”

Although Barca have apparently shied away from the chance to sign former Ronaldo Brazil international Ronaldinho has enjoyed considerable success with the Catalan giants, while also helping to frame Messi as he emerges in the first team.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, would continue to move to Old Trafford, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson before being allowed to pass real Madrid.

During his time at Spain, Ronaldo became Madrid’s top scorer and helped them win two league titles and four Champions League trophies, among many other personal and team accolades.

He has since won two Serie A titles with Juve, but it remains to be seen whether he will manage to secure a third in the 2020-21 season, with Andrea Pirlo’s side currently fourth in the table, seven points behind. The leaders. AC Milan but with a game in hand.

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