Ronny Rosenthal has opened up on how he tried to persuade Tottenham Hotspur to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rosenthal saw Ronaldo in action while he was at the beginning of his career at Sporting Lisbon and contacted his former employer to inform them of the Portuguese’s talent.
The Israeli also revealed that he made contact with North London rivals Arsenal who also failed to follow up on his recommendation.
Manchester United ended up making the £12.24million move for the teenager in 2003 and accelerated their interest after hearing that other clubs were keen to land the highly rated youngster (BBC).
The Portuguese international went on to spend six years at United where he became one of the club’s greatest players of the Premier League era and would go on to win the Ballon d’Or at Old Trafford and scored 118 times in 292 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils (transfermarkt).
Rosenthal told 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.”
Referring to a database he uses to scout players, he looked for the notes he had on Ronaldo before adding: “OK, here it is, 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.”