Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger considers missing out on Cristiano Ronaldo as one of his greatest disappointments, but there were many more stars the Frenchman missed out on during his time in north London.
But it’s hardly a surprise that Wenger sees Ronaldo as the biggest blow, while revealing that the Portuguese superstar had an Arsenal shirt in his hands before Manchester United knocked on his door.
Arsenal had an agreement in place with Sporting Lisbon that would see the winger move to the south of England instead. Wenger was convinced they’d done enough to get him.
Asked by The Guardian to pick out his most painful recruitment regret, Wenger said: “Oof! I would say there is not one player, there are 50!
On the other hand, maybe the closest [to that] was Cristiano Ronaldo, when he signed for Man United.
“We had an agreement with Sporting and Man United took Carlos Querioz as assistant coach, and they just outbid us quickly and took Ronaldo, but we had an agreement basically. He had the shirt of Arsenal, I had lunch with him and his mother at the training ground!
“It’s one example but there were so many. The history of a big club is full of missed great players!”
It could have been very different had Ronaldo signed for Arsenal over United, and I’m not just talking about the clubs. Manchester United went on to be successful while Arsenal fans had to settle for mediocrity.
Even for Ronaldo, who will always see Sir Alex Ferguson as his best manager. The Scot was like a father to the Portuguese star and played a big factor in his career to date.
Ronaldo never looked back after joining United which led to his dream move to Real Madrid.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) October 12, 2020
Nowadays he’s scoring goals in Serie A with Juventus.