In 2003, Barcelona should have signed Cristiano Ronaldo but did not take the opportunity, said Joan Laporta, former president of Blaugrana.
“It was Ronaldinho and Rafael Marquez we were going to sign. The entourage of Marquez offered us Ronaldo, who was at that time playing for Sporting,” quotes Laporta Marca.
“One of the agents said they had a player for 19 million [euros] that they were selling to Manchester United, but they would sell him to us for 17 million.
But we had already invested in buying Ronaldinho by this point. Cristiano was more of a flanker than a player in the middle. We felt we were covered with everything, but we gave up Ronaldo, which I do not regret.”