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11th Nov 2014

Calderon: Fergie tried to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Barcelona in 2009

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Caledron made the claim on Sky Sports' La Liga Revista.

Patrick McCarry

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has revealed Manchester United agreed to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to the Spanish club in December 2008 only to have second thoughts.

Caledron, speaking on Sky Sports’ La Liga Revista, says Ronaldo had initially been due to sign with Los Blancos in the summer of 2008. However, the Portuguese international spoke with Madrid and assured them he would move the following season. He wanted to play an extra year under Ferguson, says Calderon, as United boss Alex Ferguson ‘he was like a father to him’.

With Ronaldo setting his sights on a move to Real Madrid the following summer, the Spanish giants and Manchester United agreed a transfer in principle. The deal was for £80m and United wanted the money up front and, in Calderon’s words, in cash. Ferguson attempted to toss the deal under the bus as the summer of 2009 loomed.

Calderon commented, ‘I don’t know why but Ferguson is a bit obsessed with Real Madrid. He doesn’t like us very much. He said “Cristiano, no. He is going to leave but not to Real Madrid.”

‘They offered the player to Barcelona, among other clubs, and they were prepared to pay what (United) were asking. The important thing is Cristiano said “No, Real Madrid or nothing” and that was perfect. I’m very proud he came… he is an example to everyone, for the kids, his team-mates, how he is playing.’

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The Calderon interview offers an interesting timeline to the Ronaldo to Real Madrid timeline. It would now appear that both clubs were working on the £80m contract around December 18th 2008, when Ferguson famously declared, ‘You don’t think we’d get into a contract with that mob, do you? Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t sell them a virus.’

Ronaldo’s final game for United was the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in May 2009.

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