REAL MADRID

Why Arsenal missed out on signing 15-year-old Cristiano

Cristiano Ronaldo almost signed for Arsenal, reveals one of the club's former scouts Damien Comolli. The teenage Cristiano even trained with the Gunners twice.

Cristiano Ronaldo pudo haber fichado por el Arsenal.

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Cristiano almost ended up at Highbury, not Old Trafford

Cristiano Ronaldo's future could have ended up very differently had he joined Arsenal instead of Manchester United.

Phenomenon in the flesh

A former member of Arsenal's scouting department Damien Comolli, told SFR Sport 1's '91E Minute' programme that he had the chance to sign Cristiano while he was still a teenager at Sporting Clube de Portugal: “The first time I saw him play was during a tournament in Montaigu, when he was 15. Sporting were playing against Japan and I thought to myself: Who the hell is that lad?’ At half-time, I made a phone call to one of my contacts in Portugal to tell him that I had discovered a phenomenon”.

Comolli could not believe his own eyes: “I'd never seen anything quite like it since seeing Thierry Henry for the first time”. Just imagine it, Henry and Cristiano almost shared the same dressing room...".

Meeting boyhood idol, Henry

Arsenal's interest in the young player wasn't just sheer curiosity. The Gunners have one of the best youth academies in the world and Cristiano visited the club's training facilities with the intention of joining: “He came to the training complex a couple of times to train. Nobody knew who he was. He got to meet Henry, his idol, but when the transfer was supposed to go though it turned out that there wasn't enough money in the coffers”, Comolli explained.

“A few months later, Manchester United reached an agreement with Sporting Clube and played a friendly over there. After that, Sir Alex Ferguson said he had to go to United”.

 

 

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