Barcelona rejected chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo for €17m & I don’t regret it – Laporta

The 35-year-old forward was reportedly offered to the Catalan club prior to his switch to Manchester United back in 2003

Barcelona were offered the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo before he joined Manchester United, former president Joan Laporta has claimed, adding that he does not regret missing out on the Portuguese.

The talismanic forward has been a prolific presence in front of goal across a trophy-laden career, with 35-year-old Ronaldo continuing to thrive with Serie A giants Juventus to this day.

Indeed, his five Ballon d’Or awards are bettered only by Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who has six, with both widely regarded as two of the best players to have ever played the game.

And Laporta has now claimed that the pair could well have been team-mates at Camp Nou, with the 58-year-old, who is running to be elected Barca president for a second time in the forthcoming elections, revealing that Barca were offered the chance to sign Ronaldo.

“We were about to sign Ronaldinho and Rafa Marquez,” Laporta said during an interview with Iniestazo. “Marquez’s people proposed Cristiano Ronaldo to us. He was at Sporting at the time.