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Super agent Mendes: How Sir Alex beat all competition to sign Ronaldo for Man Utd

Super agent Jorge Mendes has lifted the lid on how Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting CP.

Liverpool and Arsenal were two of the top clubs in the market for Ronaldo when he was just 18 and earning rave reviews at Sporting Lisbon in 2003.

But Ferguson was able to broker a move for the Madeira-born winger after telling Mendes that he wanted Ronaldo in Manchester immediately.

Mendes said: “I've always maintained that the coach is, in the end, the most important component in any transfer.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a perfect example.

“Every club wanted him, but they all wanted him to have another season loaned back to Sporting.

“The only person who seemed willing to take him on immediately was Sir Alex Ferguson and, at that time, I had no doubt it was the best solution.

“My decision, made without a second thought, was that Manchester United was the ideal club for him. I'm sure that, if Cristiano Ronaldo had stayed at Sporting, he wouldn't have played half the games he played for Manchester in the first season, at the end of which, by the way, he was voted the team's best player by the fans."

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Paul Vegas

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