Ronaldo had been to MU after the urgent phone call of Sir Alex
Sir Alex Ferguson was very impressed with Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half of the MU vs Sporting Lisbon friendly match and then the phone decided to transfer.
MU spent most of the summer of 2003 chasing Ronaldinho but ended up failing when the Brazilian superstar left PSG to Barcelona.
In return, the “Red Devils” defeated the Catalan giants at another goal by paying £ 12 million to Sporting Lisbon to make Cristiano Ronaldo the most expensive teenage player in English football history.
Few could have guessed at the time that Ronaldo at 18 would develop into one of the greatest players of all time. However, the legendary MU coach Sir Alex Ferguson seems to feel this.
Ferguson’s original plan was to buy Ronaldo and then loan it back to Sporting in the 2003/04 season.
However, the Scottish strategist was so impressed with the teenage player in the first half of the pre-season friendly match between MU and the Portuguese club, that he called CEO Peter Kenyon during the break. , asked to bring Ronaldo to Old Trafford.
“I received a call during the break. Instead of leaving him (Ronaldo) here, can we take him home?”. Kenyon told the Daily Telegraph when he recalled the phone call with Sir Alex. “So when the team left the next day, I stayed behind to make that request.”
The huge transfer fee is an indication of Ferguson’s immense trust in Ronaldo’s talent, as well as the youngster’s being handed the iconic No.7 shirt that was left vacant after David Beckham’s departure.
Of course, Sir Alex’s faith in Ronaldo has been proven when the Portuguese star scored 118 goals in 292 games and inspired MU to win 3 Premier League titles, win the 2008 Champions League and the Club Cup World Cup.
CR7 left Real Madrid in 2009 for a world record fee of £ 80 million and continued to achieve greater success, winning four Champions League titles, three Club World Cups and two La Liga crowns.