After 9 successful years, Cristiano Ronaldo decided to leave Real Madrid having won a three successive Champions League titles. As he was on the verge of leaving, many clubs shown interest in him but not many could have afforded him.
One of the clubs which was interested in signing him is AC Milan. They almost got Ronaldo’s signature but the move failed last minute and Ronaldo signed for Juventus in 2018.
Marco Fassone, CEO of AC Milan at the time said, via Marca: “It’s true, Yonghong Li wanted Cristiano Ronaldo at Milan.”
“He wanted him because he believed he had great reach in the Chinese market. The player wanted to leave Madrid. We met with [his agent Jorge] Mendes in July 2017 to verify the cost and availability of the player.”
This was also affirmed by former Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli. He said: “Ronaldo told us: ‘You aren’t in the Champions League, okay, but I have never won the Europa League, and so I’ll win that too.’ He was convinced.”
“Some say it was a joke, but we had Ronaldo sealed, there was a possibility of getting him, everything is true.”
The transfer move for Ronaldo finally collapsed as the Chinese owners considered it not economically feasible.
Mirabelli added: “They didn’t put the money in. Fassone told me that the numbers did not add up and that we had to let it go.”
“First they gave me a budget and then another one. They told me we had a chance of signing him, that the money was there, and then in the morning they told me the opposite.”