CAIRO – 28 June 2017: The former President of Barcelona Joan Laporta spoke to the Spanish newspaper Marca on June 23 about how he bought Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho as a replacement for David Beckham.
Laporta told Marca that he had three choices, "It was between Beckham, Ronaldinho or Thierry Henry. United told us that they would sell [Beckham] to us if we won the [presidential] election as we didn't have the power at that time.”
The former president continued to Marca, "But they used us and in the end he signed for Madrid. We met at Heathrow Airport and signed a document which said that they would sell [Beckham] to us if we struck an agreement with the agent.”
He concluded by saying to Marca, "However, we didn't manage to do that. We went to Nice and stayed with him and he said he would think about it. We got fed up of waiting on an answer, so we signed Ronaldinho instead."
Even though he bought Ronaldinho in 2003, Henry managed to join Barcelona in 2007 where both players played a year together at the club. However, Barcelona didn’t achieve much in this year falling behind Real Madrid with an 18 point difference in the Spanish League (La Liga).