Cristiano Ronaldo: How Real Madrid Star Almost Made Arsenal Transfer

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, left.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, left, at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, April 26. Ronaldo has revealed more details of his Manchester United career in a new interview. Paul Gilham/Getty

Fresh off a new five-year Real Madrid contract, and a lifetime deal with Nike, Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up on some tantalizing details from his career.

In an interview with Madrid-based newspaper Marca, Ronaldo, 31, recalled his move to Manchester United in 2003 under the club's legendary former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It was not planned that United would be my team. Other clubs like Arsenal, Valencia, and Inter had enquired about me but we played against United and the rest is history."

Ronaldo proved to be a startling success at Old Trafford, scoring 42 goals in all competitions as the club won the UEFA Champions League in 2008.

The Portuguese moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a then world record fee of £80 million ($99.4 million).