Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ronny Rosenthal has revealed that he recommended Cristiano Ronaldo to the club back when he was a still a youngster in Portugal.
Rosenthal, who played for the North London club between 1994 and 1997 before becoming a talent scout following his retirement travelled to Portugal and has claimed he suggested that Ronaldo is a player that Spurs should take a closer look at along with Arsenal, only for neither North London club to act on his advice.
Ronaldo went on to impress in a pre-season friendly against Manchester United in 2003, with Sir Alex Ferguson doing everything in his power to bring the 18-year-old to Old Trafford after he provided two assists in their 3-1 victory against Premier League champions (BBC).
He has since gone on to have a glittering career at United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
Rosenthal said in an interview (The Athletic): “There are hundreds of players that if the clubs had listened… one of the ones I’ll never forget is Cristiano Ronaldo, who I saw because I was going a lot to Portugal at that time.’
“Ronaldo made his debut for Sporting Lisbon in August 2002, and I started watching him a month or so after that. I recommended him to Arsenal, Tottenham and others. But they didn’t follow it up.’
“I could have been very rich… very rich!”
Spurs Web Opinion
While it would have been incredible if Spurs had managed to sign Ronaldo, the club gets hundreds of reports from scouts and Ronaldo was a relative unknown at this point. Every club has a story like this of a player they could have signed but didn’t, who then went on to be world-class.
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