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Jorge Mendes Explains How Sir Alex Ferguson Signed Cristiano Ronaldo Ahead Of Rivals

Jorge Mendes Explains How Sir Alex Ferguson Signed Cristiano Ronaldo Ahead Of Rivals

The super agent had interest from United's rivals Arsenal and Liverpool but it was Fergie who made all the difference to the signing.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan Sidle

Sir Alex Ferguson was hugely influential in shaping Cristiano Ronaldo's career to becoming one of the best players of all time, and the Manchester United boss was the reason he signed in the first place.

During his time at United the Portuguese superstar went from a fresh faced winger who occasionally tried one too many step overs to the goal scoring machine who has won five Ballon d'Ors.

But even before he improved the Juventus star, Fergie was the very reason Ronaldo signed. Speaking to Sport Business, Jorge Mendes explained why his client moved to Old Trafford.

"I've always maintained that the coach is, in the end, the most important component in any transfer. Cristiano Ronaldo is a perfect example.

"Every club wanted him, but they all wanted him to have another season loaned back to Sporting.

"The only person who seemed willing to take him on immediately was Sir Alex Ferguson and, at that time, I had no doubt it was the best solution.

"My decision, made without a second thought, was that Manchester United was the ideal club for him. I'm sure that, if Cristiano Ronaldo had stayed at Sporting, he wouldn't have played half the games he played for Manchester in the first season, at the end of which, by the way, he was voted the team's best player by the fans."

Ronaldo and Fergie had a great relationship. Image: PA Images
Ronaldo and Fergie had a great relationship. Image: PA Images

Ronaldo cost £12.24 million, which was a world record price for a teenager at the time, and was given the famous number seven at Old Trafford straight away.

He made his debut against Bolton Wanderers as a substitute in a 4-0 win and made an impressive start to life in England, impressing against Sam Allardyce's side.

The winger made 29 appearances for the Red Devils in the league in his first season, scoring three goals, and things only got better from there.

Former Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson explained to the Athletic that the Reds turned down the chance to sign Ronaldo because of the wages involved in the deal and because they already had youngsters Florent Sinama Pongolle and Anthony le Tallec in their ranks.

Ronaldo is also amongst the incredible list of players that Arsene Wenger has admitted that he nearly signed as Arsenal boss, which also includes Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Yaya Toure, Paul Pogba and Vincent Kompany.

The history of both the sides who missed out on signing Ronaldo, United, the player himself and his agent may have changed dramatically if Fergie wasn't so desperate to sign the youngster.

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Topics: Football News, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Transfer stories, Transfer rumours, Sporting, Jorge Mendes, Transfer news, Wolves, Cristiano Ronaldo