Cristiano Ronaldo came close to joining Liverpool in 2003, according to a former Liverpool manager

Cristiano Ronaldo was close to joining Liverpool as a teenager, according to former Liverpool manager Phil Thompson. As a teenager, the Portuguese was picked up by Manchester United, and the rest is history.

Ronaldo might have worn a Liverpool shirt if things had gone differently. The Portuguese had agreed to join the Reds in 2003, according to reports. Thompson told The Athletic that he went out to dinner with football agent Tony Henry, who told him that Ronaldo was close to joining the club.

“I can still remember Tony’s exact words. It was all very nice and relaxed. It’s £4 million, and it can be paid over the four years of his (Cristiano Ronaldo’s) contract, so £1 million a year. That seemed very reasonable. Then I asked about the salary, and Tony told me it was £1 million a year, net,” said Thompson.

Ronaldo in the end signed for Manchester United instead of Liverpool

Ronaldo in the end signed for Manchester United instead of Liverpool
Credit: Reuters

Sir Alex Ferguson, unbeknownst to Thompson, had already sprung into action. Ronaldo was persuaded to join Manchester United by the famous boss, leaving Liverpool unhappy. Thompson claimed that he learned of the news while out to lunch.

“On the Tuesday morning, we were having lunch at the training ground, and it came up on the yellow strap on Sky Sports. Gerard and myself almost choked on our food. I can remember Gerard jumping up and saying, ‘What the hell has gone on there?’,” said Thompson.

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