Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most celebrated footballers of all time, almost signed with Liverpool, Manchester United's historic Premier League rivals. However, a crucial demand became a stumbling block in the transfer.
In 2003, Ronaldo made a successful £12.24 million move from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United. This transfer is considered one of the most successful in history. During his time at Old Trafford, Ronaldo won three consecutive Premier League titles, the Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup. His performance solidified his status as one of the greatest players United has ever seen.
Ronaldo later moved to Real Madrid in 2009, where he won four more Champions League trophies and became the club's all-time record goalscorer. In 2018, he joined Juventus for a reported fee of £88 million and spent three seasons there before returning to Manchester United.
However, his return to Manchester United was fraught with difficulties, culminating in a controversial interview in which Ronaldo criticized manager Erik ten Hag. But what if Ronaldo had joined Liverpool instead?
Liverpool reportedly showed interest in signing Ronaldo during his time at Sporting Lisbon. However, then-manager Gerrard Hollier believed that the teenager's wage demands were too high.
Hollier said (quotes via The Express), "I saw [Ronaldo] 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."
As a result, Ronaldo signed with reigning Premier League champions Manchester United that same year, and the rest is history.