The Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently playing for the Spanish giant Real Madrid was very close to move to the Italy giants Juventus in 2002, before moving to the Premier League giant Manchester United, but missed the opportunity because of the former Chile international and former Juventus striker Marcelo Salas.
As the former Sporting director, Gianni Di Marzio has recently admitted in an interview that he was very close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus in 2002, but missed the opportunity because of Marcelo Salas, as Salas rejected the swap deal with the current FIFA Ballon d'Or winner.
According to the 77-year-old former Sporting director, Gianni Di Marzio, he was in Lisbon to follow Ricaardo Quaresma, he didn't play in the game for Sporting against Belenenses.
But, instead Di Marzio saw the four times ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronlado, whose skills was very much appreciable and at that time Ronaldo was playing just his third game with the club.
As Gianni Di Marzio said, "He was eighteen when I worked at Juventus,"
"I called my club and told them I'd seen someone who would be the best player in the world, obviously after Maradona,"
“I negotiated and brought Cristiano over to Turin in 2002 to sign for Juve, but Salas didn't accept the terms of the swap.”
"For just a few million euros, Salas didn't want to leave and so Juventus lost out on Cristiano Ronaldo.”
"His agent [Jorge Mendes] knows this story very well."