Liverpool’s Phone Call to Sign Cristiano Ronaldo Followed a Request to Sign the Star.

Liverpool’s Phone Call to Sign Cristiano Ronaldo Followed a Request to Sign the Star.

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07 Jul 2022
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Cristiano Ronaldo

After a secret scouting mission, Liverpool’s phone call to sign Cristiano Ronaldo followed a request to sign the player.

When Gerard Houllier was Liverpool’s manager and Phil Thompson was his assistant, the Reds were serious contenders to recruit Cristiano Ronaldo, the eventual five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo will forever be the player that got away for certain Liverpool fans.

Back when Gerard Houllier was at the helm on Merseyside, with Phil Thompson as his number two, the Reds were strong contenders to sign the future five-time Ballon d’Or winner from his first club, Sporting Lisbon.

According to Thompson, the boy was being offered to several teams, including Manchester United and Newcastle, by his agent at the time, Paul Stretford, for a paltry £4 million. The Reds assistant travelled to Portugal to perform a reconnaissance expedition after Liverpool’s interest in acquiring the wonderkid was confirmed.

Thompson even had supper in Portugal with Tony Henry, who worked with Stretford, to iron out the details.

Thompson, recalling the transfer saga, told Paddy Power: “When I was working with Gerard Houllier at Liverpool, we missed out on a couple talented players. Perhaps he was not a household name, but he accomplished well in life and football nonetheless. His name was… I believe… Ah, sure, it was Cristiano Ronaldo!

“We went to see him because his agent, Paul Stretford, was offering him to a number of clubs, including ours. I recall that both Manchester United and Newcastle were rumored to be interested in him.” I went to the final game of the season in Portugal, where we conversed. That occurred on the Sunday; on the following Monday, I returned to Liverpool, went to training, and told Gerard Houllier, “This guy is a footballer, he’s amazing!” Everyone had been offered him for £4m. He sought $1 million over the course of his four-year contract, which could have been easily accomplished.”

When watching the news, Liverpool learned that Manchester United had beaten them to Ronaldo’s transfer. Liverpool had been under the impression that they had successfully completed the transfer.

Houllier, aggrieved by the circumstances, directed Thompson to call and inquire about what had transpired and whether Liverpool could salvage the agreement.

Thompson said, “Next, a strap at the bottom of the screen on Sky Sports News reads, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo signed for United for £12.2 million.'”

Gerard Houllier asked, “Phil, what the heck is going on? I thought it was $4 million? I thought it was debatable!’ He stated, “Contact the agent and determine why!” I traveled there with Tony Henry, who works with Paul Stretford, and when I contacted him, he said, “Phil, as I got off the airport, I received a phone call and was informed, “You’re off the deal.”

“You can decide for yourself what transpired, but that was close, and he’s done well for himself, hasn’t he?”

Thompson has previously commented on Liverpool’s failure to get Cristiano Ronaldo, telling The Athletic that he and Gerard Houllier “almost choked” on their food upon learning Manchester United had won the trade sweepstakes.

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