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Jorge Mendes recalls how Sir Alex Ferguson sealed Cristiano Ronaldo transfer


Super-agent Jorge Mendes has revealed how it was Sir Alex Ferguson’s desperation to see Cristiano Ronaldo in a Manchester United shirt that sealed his £12million move.

Liverpool and Arsenal were two of the top clubs in the market for Ronaldo when he was just 18 and earning rave reviews at Sporting Lisbon in 2003.

But Ferguson was able to broker a move for the Madeira-born winger after telling Mendes that he wanted Ronaldo in Manchester immediately.

Mendes said: “I’ve always maintained that the coach is, in the end, the most important component in any transfer.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is a perfect example.

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Man Utd alongside Kleberson in August 2003

“Every club wanted him, but they all wanted him to have another season loaned back to Sporting.

“The only person who seemed willing to take him on immediately was Sir Alex Ferguson and, at that time, I had no doubt it was the best solution.

“My decision, made without a second thought, was that Manchester United was the ideal club for him. I’m sure that, if Cristiano Ronaldo had stayed at Sporting, he wouldn’t have played half the games he played for Manchester in the first season, at the end of which, by the way, he was voted the team’s best player by the fans.”

Agent Jorge Mendes has explained the role of Sir Alex Ferguson in the transfer

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In an interview with the website SportBusiness, Mendes revealed how the power of Ferguson’s personality sealed Ronaldo’s fate.

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United had monitored Ronaldo’s development in Lisbon, but Fergie was stunned when he saw the teenager’s talent.

United travelled to Portugal for a friendly with Lisbon to reopen the redeveloped Jose Alvalade Stadium in the summer of 2003.

And Ronaldo was so sensational that Ferguson refused to board the bus taking his squad back to the airport after the game until a deal was done.





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