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Sir Alex Ferguson was ‘devastated’ after he failed to sign legendary World Cup winner for Man Utd

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Iconic ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was “devastated” after he failed to bring one legendary World Cup winner to Old Trafford.

That is according to United legend Rio Ferdinand, who candidly opened up on how Ferguson ended up signing another legendary footballer instead.

Ferguson’s legendary managerial career at Old Trafford came to an end in 2013 after he led United to their last Premier League title.

The 82-year-old iconic Scotsman has previously opened up on his regret in not signing one player, despite managing several world-class players at Old Trafford.

Ferguson’s 26-year reign at United saw him overhaul his teams on several occasions and his desire to bring the best in class to the Premier League club.

Ferguson, who revealed four players he wished he managed, fell short in his bid to bring one iconic former footballer to Old Trafford in the 2003 summer window.

READ MORE: Son of legendary ex-Man Utd star puts in ‘cheat code’ performance like his father after return from injury


Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images


Ferdinand on Ferguson’s missed United target

Ferguson was keen on bringing Brazil legend Ronaldinho to Old Trafford, only for Barcelona to sign him from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003.

United had made an approach at the time for Ronaldinho and even included Fabien Barthez as part of their original deal to sign him from PSG.

However, the Red Devils’ best efforts to sign him fell short of Barcelona’s £21m offer for World Cup winner Ronaldinho, who enjoyed a prolific spell at the Camp Nou.

Following United’s failed effort to land Ronaldinho, Ferdinand revealed United ended up signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting CP after his side played against him.

Speaking on The Obi One Podcast, he said: “Yeah, we always knew there would be someone coming in.

“I remember the season when Cristiano Ronaldo signed and we went to Sporting Lisbon [and] he was actually lucky that we signed him.

“It was only on the disappointment of not signing Ronaldinho that summer. We tried to sign Ronaldinho and he chose to leave Paris Saint-Germain and went to Barcelona.

“I remember the manager [was] devastated.

“Then on the tour – on the backend of the tour – we went to Sporting Lisbon to open the stadium with a game, Cristiano Ronaldo plays and the rest is history.”

Ferdinand on Ferguson’s signings at United

Ferdinand opened up on Ferguson’s management of the United squad and how the former Red Devils boss was “very decisive” with the players he had at Old Trafford.

“But we always knew there was big players coming [to United]. In that summer, Veron went to Chelsea,” he continued.

“So, a big player who came in before, but he then left. So, I always knew there would be a revolving door for players.

“If you come in and don’t produce, you’re gone. There’s no like you’re going to keep a player for four or five years who just isn’t doing it.

“If you don’t produce in year one or two, goodnight, the club was not really… the manager was very, very decisive.

“But I think he always thought about, yes, you win, but what’s going to spark a new kind of desire within this team and this changing room.”

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