Former Juventus sporting director Gianni Di Marzio has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo was on the verge of joining the Bianconeri as a youngster in 2002.
Di Marzio, who was in charge of transfers at Juventus from 2001 to 2006, said that Ronaldo even came to Turin for the deal to be completed, but ex-Chile striker Marcelo Salas, who was supposed to head in the opposite direction, refused to do so.
“When I was working for Juventus, I called Turin and said he was going to be the best player in the world, obviously behind [Diego] Maradona,” Di Marzio told Agencia EFE.
“I negotiated [a transfer] and brought Cristiano to Turin in 2002 to sign for Juventus. But [Marcelo] Salas did not accept the swap deal. For a few million euros, Salas did not want to go and he later ended up at River Plate.