“We thought he would bring something special”: Paul Scholes says Manchester United was so close to Ronaldinho in 2003 that the club had numbered him before the Brazilian chose to go to Barcelona
- Man United was approaching a deal in 2003 to contract Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho
- Paul Scholes said the team was excited for the midfielder to join PSG
- He said the player could have brought “something special” to the club
- Ronaldinho finally decided to sign for Spanish giants Barcelona in LaLiga
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes had revealed how the club came close to Ronaldinho in 2003 – with officials even numbering the Brazilian star.
The Red Devils seemed nailed to secure the signing of PSG’s exciting midfielder before making a U-turn and opting to head to Barcelona.
Ronaldinho went on to a great stint with the Catalan outfit – winning the LaLiga title and the Champions League twice.
Paul Scholes, left, has revealed how closed United was to sign Ronaldinho, right
Robbie Savage talked about him Savage Social podcast, he admits how the United players longed for the Brazilian to join their ranks, adding that the club almost announced the signing.
“I think Ronaldinho stands out,” he said. “I don’t remember what year it was, but I really thought the manager had it.
“We were out in the preseason and I think they almost announced him and gave him the number, but he changed his mind at the last minute and signed for Barcelona.”
The Brazilian star eventually joined PSG despite heavy ties to Old Trafford
Scholes said there was a belief that Ronaldinho could lift the team like Eric Cantona, center
Scholes said the team thought he would bring “something special” to the team – much like Eric Cantona’s arrival – and that he ended up “kicking” him when he played them in the preseason.
“It’s actually strange because we played that pre-season tour against Barcelona, so we were all excited,” said Scholes.
“Ronaldinho, what a player! We thought he would bring something special, almost like what (Eric) Cantona brought to the team.
The former United midfielder highlighted other stars that the club missed during his career
Former Chelsea and Bayern striker Arjen Robben was another name that could have joined
“We play against him in Seattle three days later, so everyone is trying to kick him! We tried to beat him because he didn’t sign for us. ‘
Scholes saw numerous names come through the door during his 20-year stay with the Red Devils, but he also pulled the curtain aside for some other signings that United failed to cross the line.
“I remember Harry Kewell was one,” he added. “I think he eventually turned us down and went to Liverpool, which didn’t bother us that much.
“I think Damien Duff was one too, Arjen Robben, I think he was about to come.”