Cristiano Ronaldo’s career could’ve taken a very different turn if the outcry over his 2006 World Cup wink had further repercussions.
The Portuguese had a part in getting England’s Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo’s Man United team-mate, sent off, and footage of the player giving his international colleagues a wink, as if to say ‘job done,’ caused the headline writers to have a field day at the time.
Three years later, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid, but it’s come to light that he had actually agreed a contract with Valencia in light of the 2006 incident.
“I arrived at the right time. Valencia was the city that benefited the most from this economic, social and sports ‘boom,’” Amadeo Carboni, Valencia’s sporting director at the time, said.
“We had found the economic resources to achieve it, we had arrangements with Nike and Coca Cola. Ronaldo at that time was already earning €10m net a year, it was a lot.
“We had the contracts signed by Jorge Mendes, nothing was missing between Ronaldo, his agent and me. However, the deal did not materialise.”
Los Che were certainly in better shape then than they are now, and there’s no knowing just how successful they could’ve become with Ronaldo in-situ.
In the end, Valencia will surely consider it a case of an opportunity missed, and one which could’ve changed the face of the club.
Albeit Ronaldo and Rooney didn’t appear to have a problem with each other back at Man United, which is probably why the deal to the Spanish outfit didn’t go through.