Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho explains why he snubbed Manchester United

19 Old Trafford

Brazilian legend Ronadinho says that he turned down Manchester United in 2003 in favour of a move to Barcelona.

Ronaldinho is one of the greatest players in the world ever who never played in the Premier League.

But the Brazilian had the chance to feature in the English top flight, not once but twice.

Back in 2003, Ronaldinho left Paris Saint-Germain for Barcelona following the Catalan giants’ failure to sign David Beckham, who departed Manchester United for Real Madrid that summer.

United wanted to sign Ronaldinho that summer following the playmaker’s stellar performances at PSG augmented by his crucial role in Brazil’s World Cup triumph in 2002.

Former Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted in 2009 that he had tried to recruit the former AC Milan star, who has now explained why he chose Barcelona over the Manchester outfit.

‘It almost happened with United’, Ronaldinho told FourFourTwo magazine. ‘It was a matter of 48 hours, but Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: If I become Barca president, will you come? I said yes...

'I told the English I had chosen Barcelona. It was the right choice. Brazilians have always loved Barca. We have a history there. Off the pitch, it is nowhere else in Europe, so we are always happy playing there'.

That same summer, United signed a certain Cristiano Ronaldo and what has happened since then at the two clubs is history.

Ronaldinho went on to play for Barcelona for five years, helping the club rejuvenate themselves. During his time at Camp Nou, the now 34-year-old won La Liga in 2005 and 2006, and the Champions League in 2006.

Ronaldinho also clinched the Ballon d'Or in 2005 and the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2004 and 2005.

Interestingly, the Brazilian legend had another chance to move to an English club. Blackburn Rovers publicly announced that they wanted Ronaldinho to join them in January 2011, but the playmaker left Milan to return to his homeland with Flamengo.

Reflecting on that move, the former Gremio star said: ‘About Blackburn: we talked to them, but I wanted to come back home to Brazil’.

Ronaldinho is 34 years of age now and is playing for Atletico Mineiro. He is past his prime, but he will always be remembered as one of the greatest attacking players of all time.

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