Ronaldo and Messi could have been teammates: the background

29 March at 15:00
Protagonists of the greatest rivalry in football and one of the greatest in sport, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have marked and dominated an era of football. However, the story could have been very different: the two 'enemies' could have been teammates.

Guillem Balagué told the story for Spanish outlet Sport (via, recalling the situation which almost led to Ronaldo's move to Real Madrid falling through. In January of 2009, Ramon Calderon resigned as president of the Bernabeu side, which didn't help the deal.

The Spanish press, and some high-ranked men like Eduardo Fernandez de Blas, all questioned the purchase of the Portuguese side, as the money could be used to buy many Spanish players. Vicente Boluda, who replaced Calderon, decided he didn't want to be the one to 'throw away' €100m on CR7.

Ronaldo's agent (Jorge Mendes), meanwhile, had no intention of remaining idle. Taking note of the 'withdrawal' of Real Madrid and the agreement between Ronaldo and Ferguson that allowed the striker to free himself at the end of the season for a reasonable sum, the agent started working.

The powerful agent was already ready to evaluate two other offers that had arrived: €150m of Manchester City and, above all, a €105m offer from Barcelona. And in that Barça side, a 21-year-old Leo Messi could have shared the locker room with Ronaldo.

A scenario that made Real tremble: "If Ronaldo signs for Barcelona, we will spend ten years without winning a title," a director reportedly said. And then the turning point arrived. The CEO José Angel Sanchez intervened, convinced Boluda to reopen the deal, also calling his imminent successor Florentino Perez.

A phone call that was enough to resolve the situation. However, for a few days, what seemed impossible was really possible: Messi and Ronaldo, not rivals but teammates. And who knows what could have happened.‚Äč

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