Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed that the Blaugrana had the opportunity to sign current Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo when he was still at Sporting CP.
The Portugal international’s agent Jorge Mendes offered the attacker’s services to Barca in the summer of 2003, but the Catalans opted against making an offer for Cristiano Ronaldo as they had just heavily spent on other players.
“Mendes offered us Cristiano Ronaldo when he was still under contract with Sporting. We worked with Jorge quite a lot back then,” Laporta told Onda Cero.
“We could have got Ronaldo for a lower price than Manchester United eventually paid for him. However, we had just signed Ronaldinho, Ricardo Quaresma and Rafael Marquez, and we lacked the financial resources to make another signing.”
Laporta then went on to state that Ronaldo is not the only Madrid player who could have ended up at Camp Nou as Kaka could have made his way to the Catalan giants, too.
He added: “We had dinner with Silvio Berlusconi and he proposed a player-exchange deal involving Kaka and Ronaldinho. That was not an option for us, though, as Ronaldinho was a key player for us back then.
“It started out as a bit of a joke, but Berlusconi quickly turned serious. It’s a real shame that Kaka has not really succeeded at Madrid. He was a fantastic player at AC Milan.”
Kaka eventually left Milan in 2009, when he joined Los Blancos.