Ronaldinho snubs United
It’s one of the great ‘what ifs’ of football to ponder how things would have turned out had Ronaldinho joined Manchester United instead of Barcelona in 2003. The Red Devils appeared to be leading the chase for the star.
Having just sold David Beckham to Real Madrid, they were bringing in a World Cup-winning upgrade.
As we know, that didn’t materialise. Ronaldinho chose to go to Spain and lead a revolution with Barcelona. He became one of the club’s best ever players, inspiring them to many trophies, including the Champions League.
He didn’t fancy Manchester
Former United player Quinton Fortune has given a theory as to why Ronaldinho decided against coming to Manchester. The midfielder remembers the day the Brazil legend arrived in the city.
He’ll play for United in a Legends match against Barcelona on Friday (the first of two) and told his story to the club’s official website: “Oh my goodness, when you look at their team. First of all, start with Ronaldinho so, okay, you can stop there. It’s a fantastic team and of course, Barcelona are one of the greatest clubs in the world.
“Playing at Camp Nou and at Old Trafford, I think everyone is looking forward to it but a few of us will have to put in extra training to make sure we’re fit for this game. I think we got it wrong by bringing Ronaldinho in at the wrong time of year as it was raining that day he arrived at Manchester Airport.
“Maybe it was summer anyway but, if we’d have timed it with the right day, it could have been a different story.
“It would have been absolutely amazing to have him here.
“He’s one of the greatest players ever to play football and entertained with his skill, fun and joy. He brought it all and it will be a great occasion for everyone to play against him and watch him. I was very fortunate to play for South Africa against him in the Olympics in front of 72,000 fans but, when he was at Barcelona, he was a different Ronaldinho so I’m hoping we get a glimpse of that and I hope I won’t have to mark him!”
Is Ronaldinho really that fickle? Or is Fortune overlooking the grandeur of FC Barcelona?
Nolito certainly wouldn’t blame his fellow attacker for snubbing the city.