Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted his biggest regret about Cristiano Ronaldo was that Manchester United only got £80 million for him when he joined Real Madrid.
It was a world record fee at the time and United made a substantial profit but Ronaldo has since gone on to score an incredible 238 goals in 233 appearances for Madrid, which makes his £80 million price tag look like the bargain of the century.
“I told David Gill to ask for £150m. Perez would have paid,” Ferguson told Spanish newspaper AS.
“The only thing that hurt me, and I said this repeatedly to David Gill, was that we didn’t demand enough.
“I told David, ‘Ask for £150m’.
“He said, ‘Don’t be silly. They’ll never pay £150m’.
“I said, ‘Ask for it because he’s worth it’.
“We signed the deal. I think it cost £80m or so but I’ll always wonder what Mr Perez would have said if we’d asked for £150m.”
Would Madrid have paid £150 million for Ronaldo? Even for the best player in the world, that would have been an absolutely astronomical figure given that they had already spent €70 million on Kaka that summer but using Bale’s transfer as comparison, Ferguson believes United should have tried to get more for Ronaldo.
He added: “Considering the fact that they signed Gareth Bale for £85m, I think he would have agreed to pay between £80m and £150m.
“I’m sure he would have because Perez knew perfectly the quality of player he was receiving, as shown by his time at United.
“Furthermore he was only 23. That is the only disappointing aspect.”
Do you think Real Madrid would have paid more than £80 million for Cristiano Ronaldo?