Real Madrid president Florentino Perez didn’t want to spend £80 million on taking Cristiano Ronaldo to the Santiago Bernabeu five years ago, because he felt that Manchester United were asking for too much.
According to ex-president Ramon Calderon, who was in office in between Perez’s two reigns in charge, the current power figure in the Spanish capital almost baulked at paying a world-record figure for Ronaldo, who at the time had established himself as the best player in the Premier League.
Ronaldo could have joined Barca
The Daily Mail relay quotes from Calderon which confirm not only that Perez seriously considered not moving for the man who has now scored 275 goals in 263 appearances across all competitions for Los Blancos, but also that he was subsequently offered to Barcelona.
"When Florentino became president and came to the club, he wanted to break (negotiations). He thought it was very expensive," Calderon said.
"He knew he was a good player but thought he wasn't worth that amount of money. That was a problem he had at the beginning with Cristiano, who knew that.
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"They offered him to Barcelona among other clubs. Barcelona said "okay, we are prepared to pay what you are asking". The important thing is that the player said "no, Real Madrid or nothing."
"They offered him to Barcelona among other clubs"
In hindsight Perez will be laughing at the fact that he almost pulled the plug on perhaps the most successful transfer in football history. Ronaldo’s record for Real has been a virtually unprecedented success, and as he continues to smash records on the club scene the following that backs up his credentials for the best player of all time accolade continues to grow.
If nothing else he’ll be relieved that it wasn’t Barcelona who acted decisively and made the decision to take him to Spain. The only player in the sport capable of keeping Ronaldo in check is Lionel Messi, and a lineup which details both of them taking to the field for the same side isn’t one that any team would fancy their chances against.
Ronaldo to stay
That being said that relationship between Perez and his star man hasn’t always been perfect, and as recently as this summer it was claimed that the Real chief could be the reason why Ronaldo eventually chooses to leave the club.
Arguments over the sales of former players such as Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso are said to have been waged at boardroom level between the two figures, and whilst Ronaldo would likely have the backing of the fans, he won’t stay there if he doesn’t feel wanted.
With all that said and done though the 29-year-old, who earns a handsome £290,000-a-week, is in the form of his life, and his comments about finishing his career at the Bernabeu are fresh in the ears of all those who want him to do so.