Prandelli: 'Parma close to signing Ronaldo before he joined Man Utd'

14 March at 11:55
Genoa boss Cesare Prandelli has revealed that Parma came close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portuguese ace was playing for Sporting CP. In summer 2003, the Ducali needed to replace Adrian Mutu who had just joined Chelsea and Ronaldo was one of the names on their shopping list: "He was only 18-year-old", Prandelli told Il Secolo XIX.  "It was clear that he had incredible qualities. I told [Parma ds] Tosi to sign him as soon as possible".

Sporting's asking price was € 12.5 million at that time and while Parma were trying to lower the player's price-tag, Manchester United pounced on the player with Sir Alex Ferguson who spotted the talent of Cristiano during a summer friendly match. Ferguson convinced Ronaldo to join the Red Devils even before he could even leave the stadium. After the final whistle of that game, Cristiano was already a new Manchester United player.


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