​Ronaldinho has revealed that he very nearly opted to join Manchester United over Barcelona in 2003.

The legendary Brazilian – who went on to win the Champions League and two FIFA World Player of the Year awards while in Catalonia – was at Paris Saint-Germain and had been identified by Old Trafford chiefs as an ideal replacement for Real Madrid-bound David Beckham.

United began discussions with Ronaldinho but he was courted by newly appointed Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and chose a switch to the Nou Camp.

Barcelona?s player Ronaldinho oF Brazil

“It almost happened,” Ronaldinho told FourFourTwo. “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.

“It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there. And I had promised to him that I’d play for Barça…It was a quick negotiation.

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

Barcelona's Brazilian Ronaldinho celebrt

(You may also be interested in ​Ronaldinho Set for Political Venture As Legendary Player Seeks Election in Brazilian Homeland)

Ronaldinho also spoke briefly of Blackburn’s ambitious attempt to lure him to the Premier League in 2011 following their takeover by Venky’s.

“About Blackburn: we talked to them, but I wanted to come back home to Brazil,” Ronaldinho added.

Instead, the 2002 World Cup winner chose to join Flamengo and saw out the remainder of his career in his homeland.


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