Former Real Madrid President has revealed that it was Cristiano Ronaldo who forced his move to the club in 2009, choosing them over Barcelona despite Sir Alex Ferguson not being keen to sell him to Real Madrid.
According to Ramon Calderon, the deal between Real Madrid and Manchester United almost collapsed as new President Florentino Perez did not deem Cristiano Ronaldo worthy of the hefty price tag of 80 million euros.
“When Florentino became president and came to the club, he wanted to break (negotiations). He thought it was very expensive. He knew he was a good player but thought he wasn’t worth that amount of money. That was a problem he had at the beginning with Cristiano, who knew that.”
Ramon Calderon revealed that though negotiations were on between Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo for almost two years, Manchester United refused to sell their star player to a club Sir Alex Ferguson did not like.
“It was a tough moment. In the time that we were negotiating that contract I spoke to (former United chief executive) David Gill about selling the player but he said ‘no’.”
He spoke about David Gill’s, then United Chief Executive, stark refusal to sell Ronaldo, revealing that it was Ronaldo who forced his way out of Old Trafford.
“They said ‘we are not selling Cristiano, we don’t want him to go’ which is normal. But the player wanted to leave. We were negotiating for two years.”
Former Real Madrid President also revealed that Ronaldo was on the brink of leaving Manchester United a season early but stayed back as he had made a commitment to Sir Alex Ferguson, his father-figure in football. The Portuguese actually called up the President to apologize, promising him that he would leave United for Real Madrid the next season.
“He was going to come in 2008-09. He phoned me saying ‘president I am so sorry but I can’t go this year, I have a commitment with Sir Alex Ferguson who is like my father professionally. Don’t worry I’ll go next year’.”
“He negotiated with Manchester United to leave for 80 million Euros.”
Roman Calderon also revealed that such was Sir Alex Ferguson’s dislike for Real Madrid that he tried selling Ronaldo to arch-rivals Barcelona along with other clubs. Barcelona even agreed to Unitted’ selling price for the Portuguese but it was Ronaldo who insisted on going to Real Madrid.
“Ferguson is obsessed with Real Madrid, he doesn’t like us very much. He said ‘no, Cristiano is going to leave but not to Real Madrid’.”
“They offered him to Barcelona among other clubs. Barcelona said ‘Okay, we are prepared to pay what you are asking’. The important thing is that the player said ‘no, Real Madrid or nothing’.”
“I’m very proud that he came, very proud what he’s doing. I was there at the moment the transfer could be done, anyone would have done the same.”
Football fans can probably only imagine what would have happened had Ronaldo agreed to move to Barcelona instead of Real Madrid and teamed up with a certain Argentine who goes by the name of Lionel Messi.