Ronaldo was on their radar!
Liverpool fans will not be too happy to learn former manager Gerard Houllier’s reasons for passing up the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003.
The Portuguese winger ended up at Manchester United instead after impressing for first club Sporting Lisbon, and has since gone on to become regarded as one of the all-time greats of the game.
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Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League in his United career, and has reached even greater heights at current club Real Madrid, for whom he has a phenomenal record of 412 goals in 402 games, alongside two La Liga titles wins and three more Champions League trophies.
Still, things could’ve been very different as Houllier admits Liverpool were in for him when he first broke onto the scene.
The Frenchman says, however, that he was not prepared to meet Ronaldo’s wage demands given that he had…wait for it…Harry Kewell in his squad at the time.
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‘I saw him in the Toulon Under-21 tournament and we went for him,’ Houllier is quoted in the Liverpool Echo.
‘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”.
‘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.’