Legendary Brazilian star Ronaldinho has confirmed he was just 48 hours from signing with Premier League giants Manchester United and says he also held talks to join Blackburn Rovers.
Knowing that David Beckham was close to sealing a move away from Old Trafford, Ronaldinho was reportedly the signing the Old Trafford faithful craved back in 2003 and then United boss Alex Ferguson moved quickly to replace the English icon with the Brazilian in a bid to soften the blow.
Ronaldinho, who was at Paris Saint-Germain at the time, was at the top of the Scot's
hitlist once United got wind of Barcelona's interest in Beckham but Beckham chose La Liga rivals Real Madrid and then Barca president Sandro Rosell quickly swooped for Ronaldinho – after the playmaker had spoken to United.
"It almost happened. It was a matter of 48 hours but Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: "If I become Barca president, will you come?" I said yes.
"It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there. And I had promised to him that I'd play for Barca. It was a quick negotiation.
"I told the English I had chosen Barca. It was the right choice. Brazilians have always loved Barca. We have a history there. Off the pitch it is like nowhere else in Europe, so we are always happy
playing there. I miss Barcelona a lot.
"About Blackburn,' he added. 'We talked to them, but I wanted to come back home to Brazil." he told FourFourTwo
Ronaldinho became the subject of a somewhat ambitious bid from Blackburn in 2011, following the takeover by the Venkys, and he revealed he did hold talks with the club before deciding to return home. He duly moved back to join Flamengo. He also turned out for Queretaro and Fluminense before retiring in 2015.