Date: 13th April 2008 at 10:48am
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Carlos Queiroz admitted that there were some doubts about Ronaldo before the club signed him.

With the Portuguese winger banging the goals in left, right and centre while his compatriot Ricardo Quaresma is back in Portugal, plying his trade at Porto, it’s difficult to believe that Fergie and Queiroz were unsure which one should be signed.

‘I had always followed Cristiano’s career,’ Queiroz said.

‘I delivered my opinion strongly every time we discussed whether to sign him or Quaresma. We were not able to buy both and I was sure about Cristiano.’

Queiroz went on to add that when he became manager of Real Madrid in 2003 the list he gave to sporting director Jorge Valdano featured Ronaldo at the very top of it. However, it happened through him that United got the mercurial man.

‘Sporting Lisbon, where I was once the manager, used me to ask United to inaugurate their stadium by playing a pre-season friendly. So I went to Alex and he was happy to do it. Sporting won 3-1, Cristiano had a fantastic game – and all doubts about him disappeared.’

‘Alex had to make a quick decision after Lisbon. Otherwise Jorge and I would have got Cristiano.’

And this decision was helped by the players who urged Fergie to sign Ronaldo – many said it was only an urban myth that he was convinced by the players and claimed that the deal had already been in place by the time the squad flew back from Lisbon. As we see now, it is only half-true. But if everything Queiroz said is true, then we have reasons to be grateful to him. I am.