By 90Min
October 14, 2017

In 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo could have become a Liverpool player. Had it happened, he would still have worn a red jersey, played in England and turned into the most famous player in the world but he would have never been the Old Trafford's ultimate idol. 

A young, talented and technically impeccable Sporting CP forward, Ronaldo had just started his rise to top class football when he went close to signing for the Reds.

 

But things did not go as planned. In an interview with Daily Mail, Gerard Houllier, who was the manager at Anfield between 1998 and 2004, has revealed that he scouted teenage Ronaldo in 2003 before Sir Alex Ferguson, and was determined to take him on board. 

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He said: "I saw him in the Toulon Under-21 tournament and we went for him, 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."

The French boss saw one of the greatest football players in history slip through his fingers, and only realised what he had lost when it was too late. 

In the 2003/04 season, his Liverpool came fourth in the Premier League and saw Ronaldo leading Ferguson's Red Devils to the third place and to the FA Cup title. 

He said: "I know some of the signings were not as sharp as they could have been. 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."

With Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, United marched into an extremely prolific era, winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one Champions League trophy.

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