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Arsene Wenger reveals how close Arsenal came to signing Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

Arsene Wenger reveals how close Arsenal came to signing Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are of course set to go down as two of the greatest, if not the greatest ever players to grace a football pitch.

The pair have a staggering 11 Ballon d’Ors between them, as well as nine Champions League and countless domestic titles.

Ronaldo is also the top-scorer in men’s international history, whilst Lionel Messi is the highest-scoring South American male in international history, surpassing the record – which was previously held by Pele – earlier this year.

How close Arsenal came to signing Ronaldo & Messi

Now, Arsene Wenger has been speaking out on how close Arsenal came to signing both stars.

Wenger was of course Arsenal boss when both players broke into the game and Arsenal seemingly tried to sign both.

The Frenchman admitted recently that Arsenal wanted all of Cesc Fabregas, Messi and Gerard Pique, but Barca extended the contract of Messi:

“Messi we were interested in, but it was not possible.

“They (Barcelona) had Fabregas, Messi and [Gerard] Pique in the same generation. We tried to get [them]. Messi was not possible, Barcelona extended it (his contract). Fabregas wanted to leave, Pique as well.

“He (Pique) landed at Manchester United and Cesc joined us. I refuse to go into that game, because if I go into my room and write on the wall all the players I miss out on, I don’t finish well my life.”

As for Ronaldo, Wenger claims they had dinner with the Portuguese and his agent, and would be in conversation with his agent just six hours before Manchester United swopped for the youngster:

“We are now turning the clock back when Cristiano was 17 and playing in the Portuguese Under-19 team. He was spotted by our chief scout. Arsene said: ‘Look, do you want to go over and see him play?’ I said: ‘Yeah sure, I’ll go across’.

“I went with our chief scout and I remember seeing the Portuguese Under-19 team play and Cristiano did really well.

“Then the agent, who was with us at the time, said: ‘Well, believe it or not he is going to meet us for dinner afterwards’. We had a dinner at a sort of a curb-side restaurant. He was a really nice guy and he actually gave me his shirt. It’s one of several shirts that I’ve got hanging in my cupboard at home. He gave me his shirt that he played in.

“We discussed a little bit of money and the agent said: ‘Well, let him think about it overnight’. Then Cristiano said: ‘I’ve got to go now, my bus is going’. He jumped on his bus and he went home. The following day I was discussing with the agent and about six hours later Manchester United blew us out of the water.”

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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