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"Cristiano passed a medical at  Juventus in 2002"

Gianni Di Marzio, a former scout at the Serie A club, says the Old Lady were close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo at the age of 18 in 2002.

"Cristiano passed a medical at  Juventus in 2002"

Former Juventus scout Gianni Di Marzio was charged in 2002 with collating a report for the club on the young Cristiano Ronaldo, who was then at Sporting Lisbon.

Now a consultant at Parma, Di Marzio said during an interview with La Repubblica that the Old Lady came close to signing the then 18-year-old. “I made a report on Cristiano and went to watch him play for Sporting against Belenenses. I spoke to the kid and to his mother and the following day both of them were in Turin, where he underwent a medical. But in the end it didn’t come together.”

The reason Juve missed out on the precocious teenager, Di Marzio said, was Marcelo Salas, who was nearing the end of his own career. “As part of the deal, Salas was supposed to go to Sporting but he refused to go and the transfer broke down.”

Ronaldo eventually signed for Manchester United for a fee of 17.5 million euros.


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