Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has revealed that the Kopps could have signed Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003 but the signing of Australian Star Harry Kewell and Wage policy at the club hampered the move.
Back then Ronaldo was only 18 and fast attracting interest in Europe’s biggest clubs including Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona and Real madrid. The then wonderkid was snapped up by Manchester United shortly after and has since gone on to become one of the best players in the history of the game.
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Speaking to Liverpool Echo on Sunday, Houllier revealed that the deal between the club and Ronaldo broke down because they were unwilling to heed to the player’s wage demands.
“I saw him in the Toulon Under-21 tournament and we went for him, But we had a wage scale and we weren’t paying the sort of salary he wanted. Then Manchester United played a friendly against Sporting Lisbon and all their boys said to Sir Alex Ferguson: ‘You have to sign him .But I agreed with not breaking the wage structure. I thought it would cause problems in our dressing room.” He said.
Liverpool instead, stuck with Harry Kewell, who was outstanding and regarded as Australia’s finest sporting export in his five year stint at the club despite his injury issues.