How Liverpool almost signed Cristiano Ronaldo before he joined Man United

Cristiano Ronaldo almost signed for Liverpool before Manchester United were even aware of his existence.

Well, that’s according to former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

The Frenchman, who managed Liverpool between 1998 and 2004 says the only reason Ronaldo didn’t play at Anfield instead of Old Trafford was because of Liverpool’s wage structure at the time.

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Houllier says the club scouted Ronaldo in 2003, and were close to bringing him to Merseyside.

“I saw him in the Toulon Under-21 tournament and we went for him,” said Houllier.

“But we had a wage scale and we weren’t paying the sort of salary he wanted.

“Then Manchester United played a friendly against Sporting Lisbon and all their boys said to Sir Alex Ferguson: ‘You have to sign him’.

“But I agreed with not breaking the wage structure. I thought it would cause problems in our dressing room.

Manchester United football shirts

“Maybe we would have won the title with Ronaldo, but we had Harry Kewell, who was outstanding at the time and was very hungry but got a bad injury.

“After that, he never had the same confidence, the same appetite.”

Liverpool football shirts

Ronaldo signed for United in 2003 for £12million and left the club in 2009 an Old Trafford legend after scoring 84 goals in 196 appearances, which convinced Real Madrid he was worth the £80m fee.

Thinking of Ronaldo in a Liverpool shirt just seems wrong.

Pick up your vintage Man United or Liverpool shirt today 


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