In the summer of 2003, Ronaldinho was set to sign for Manchester United from PSG. The Brazilian was tipped to be the best player in the world so to lose out on him was hugely disappointing. The blow was softened by us signing Cristiano Ronaldo although at the time we obviously didn’t know what sort of player he was going to develop in to.
Sir Alex Ferguson blamed Peter Kenyon for the deal collapsing, claiming our former CEO didn’t get the job done.
On Tuesday afternoon, Paul Scholes spoke exclusively to RoM on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car about the Ronaldinho deal collapse, in part I of this interview.
I think Ronaldinho was very close at one time. I think if that’d have happened, I’d liked to have played with him. He was brilliant.
I remember that year, we were on the preseason tour and it looked like he was going to sign for us and he ended up signing for Barcelona, and we were playing Barcelona on the preseason tour. Because he didn’t sign for us, everyone wanted to boot him and kick him, but you couldn’t get near him. Brilliant player, would loved to have seen him [at United] but, didn’t happen.
He may have missed out on Ronaldinho, but Scholes has been fortunate enough to play with so many top quality players in his time at United but has singled out Ryan Giggs has the greatest.
Giggs spent 23 years in United’s first team, successfully adapting from playing on the wing to playing a more central role, and currently holds the club record for appearances.
I played with some brilliant players – so many brilliant players – but Ryan was the one that could lift everything. You’d just give him the ball, especially on big European nights here, he used to beat five or six men, used to get the crowd going. The longevity of his career, as well, was special, not just his quality but to take it to twenty odd years playing in centre midfield… At that level, yeah. He was brilliant. He was unbelievable, a freak!
In terms of his toughest opponents, Scholes claims there was never one particular player he loved to get one over on, but claimed Patrick Vieira was the hardest midfielder to play against.
I wanted to win every game. I didn’t care who was on the other team. There was never dislike for somebody, really.
Viera had the longest legs in the world, big lump, could run – he was always difficult to play against. They were good days.
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