Cristiano Ronaldo almost joined Valencia after 2006 World Cup bust-up with Wayne Rooney
Cristiano Ronaldo was ready to sign for Valencia in 2006 after his World Cup bust-up with Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney.
So says Valencia’s former sporting director Amedeo Carboni, who hoped to capitalise on the treatment Ronaldo received in England after pleading for Rooney to be sent off against Portugal.
Ronaldo did eventually move to Spain, of course – although he ended up staying at United for another three seasons before a big-money move to Real Madrid in 2009.
Following his row with Rooney, however, it looked like his time in the Premier League was coming to a premature end.
Ronaldo became public enemy number one with English supporters after urging the referee to send off his then clubmate Rooney during the Three Lions’ defeat to Portugal in Germany.
England fans were enraged when Ronaldo was seen winking at the Portugal bench after Rooney received his marching orders, with Portugal going on to win the World Cup quarter-final on penalties.
The following month, Ronaldo said he couldn’t stay at Old Trafford and was weighing up a move to Spain.
nd Carboni has told how the superstar who would go to be a five-time Ballon d’Or winner very nearly joined Valencia.
“We had found the financial resources to get him,” Carboni told Il Posticipo. “We had made arrangements with Nike and Coca Cola – the player’s sponsors.
“Ronaldo at that time was already earning 10 million net a year, a lot for a club like Valencia.
“Then we reached the stage where Cristiano had argued with Manchester United. In 2006-07 Valencia was experiencing a ‘boom’, and I had his ‘yes’ to sign him.”
Carboni said he had the paperwork signed by Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, adding: “Nothing was missing between Ronaldo, his agent and myself. The deal, however, did not materialise.”
In July 2006, comments from Ronaldo indicated that he looked set for a move to Spain.
The Portuguese ace said: “I think I should get out of Manchester.
“The circumstances are not right to keep playing in Manchester. In two or three days, I will decide where to go.
“I always said I wanted to play in Spain. Nobody stood up for me at Manchester, although I did not do anybody any harm.”