Friday, 14 October 2016


Ronaldo visited Arsenal's training ground twice ahead of a potential move.

Arsenal narrowly missed out on signing a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo due to financial restraints, according to former scout Damien Comolli.

Comolli claims to have discovered Ronaldo's formidable talent as early as 2000, when he saw the 15-year-old playing Japan at a youth tournament in France. At that time, no other Premier League club was interested, leaving the Gunners with a seemingly clear route to sign him.

Arsene Wenger failed to find the sufficient funds to meet Sporting Lisbon's asking price and the transfer ultimately collapsed.

Damien Comoli, a former director of football at Tottenham and Liverpool told SFR Sport 1: "The first time i saw Ronaldo was at the Montiagu tournament, 'He was playing Japan and I immediately thought to myself "what is this?". I called my contact in Portugal at half-time and told him I'd seen a phenomenon. I had never seen anything like it since Thierry Henry.
'He twice visited Arsenal's training center. Nobody even knows about that. He met Henry, who was his idol. And when the time had come to complete the transfer, there was no money.
'A few months later Manchester United partnered up with Sporting and played a friendly against them. Ronaldo destroyed them and [Alex] Ferguson immediately acted.'

Cristiano Ronaldo went onto win nine major honors with the Red Devils before sealing a world-record £80million move to Real Madrid in 2009 and becoming arguably the world's best player.

Wenger claims one of his biggest regrets as Arsenal manager was not signing Ronaldo when he had the chance.
'My biggest regret? I was so close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo, and not only did I not get him, he signed for Manchester United. So that of course still hurts today,' Wenger stated in 2014.



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