Ronaldo: Mendes urged United move

English Premier League

The Portugal international was already one of the world’s most sought-after players during his teenage years and was the interest of clubs such as Juventus and Real Madrid.

And while Ronaldo eventually left United for the Galacticos in 2009, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner says his agent played a pivotal role in his initial decision to move to Old Trafford.

"Many clubs were interested in me [in 2003],” Ronaldo said after receiving the Best Player of the Year award on Thursday.

"But the key man as always was Jorge Mendes.

"He has always guided me in the right direction. Of course, I remember that he talked also about Juventus, and I was happy because they are an extraordinary club.

"He also talked about Real Madrid, Manchester United and many others. But the club that offered me the best conditions were United. It was a dream because as a kid I always wanted to play in the Premier League.

"United gave me this opportunity and for that I have to thank Sir Alex Ferguson and obviously Jorge helped me to arrive there."