They are the most popular football stars and at the same time their greatest rivals: Cristiano Ronaldo (35) and Lionel Messi (33). The Portuguese has been a world footballer five times, the Argentine even made it six times. The two have never played together – it is hard to imagine the success a team with the storm duo Ronaldo and Messi could have had.
But now it comes out: it almost became a dream of every football fan. Joan Laporta (58), ex-president of FC Barcelona, explains in an interview with the portal “Iniestazo” that Ronaldo almost ended up at Barça at a young age and thus shared the dressing room with Messi!
«We had just signed Ronaldinho and Rafa Marquez. Jorge Mendes, Marquez’s agent, suggested that we bring in a boy named Cristiano Ronaldo. He played for Sporting Lisbon, ”said Laporta.
Ex-president wants to keep Messi at Barcelona
Laporta continued: «Mendes told me: There is a player for whom Manchester United is willing to pay 19 million euros. I would give it to you for 17. ” But Laporta refuses. «We had already invested in Ronaldinho and were thus more than well positioned. We refused and I don’t regret it. ”
In fact, Ronaldo moved to Manchester United a short time later in 2003. In 2009, Laporta received the receipt for not having signed CR7: Ronaldo went to the Royal in Madrid, Barcelona’s arch-rivals. For nine years, Ronaldo and Messi dueled in the Spanish La Liga before the Portuguese moved to Italy to Juventus Turin. Messi, on the other hand, has remained loyal to FC Barcelona throughout his career.
Incidentally, Laporta, President of the Catalans from 2003 to 2010, is running in the presidential elections on January 24 for a new term and to succeed the little-loved Josep Bartomeu. The lawyer’s promise: convince Messi to extend his contract. “I think I have the advantage over the other candidates that I had a good relationship with Leo during my first term in office. I’m sure he would appreciate the offer I would make him – and would stay, »says Laporta. (nim)