The Gunners boss says the fact that the Portuguese superstar ended up at rivals Manchester United “still hurts” but admits he would have loved to manage the Chelsea legend
Arsene Wenger has revealed his biggest regret as Arsenal manager was failing to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting in 2003.
Ronaldo ultimately signed for Manchester United in a deal worth just over €15 million and has gone on to achieve global superstardom at Old Trafford and Real Madrid, as well as being voted the best player in the world in 2008 and 2013.
The Portuguese also won three consecutive Premier League titles and a Champions League crown with United between 2006 and 2009 while Arsenal were trophyless over the same period, and Wenger admits he wishes he had acted differently.
“My biggest regret, I was so close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo,” the Frenchman revealed in a Huawei question and answer session.
“And not only did I not get him, but he signed for Manchester United. That, of course, still hurts today.”
Wenger added that the Premier League player he would have most liked to coach is Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who often proved a scourge of Arsenal in his first spell at Stamford Bridge.
“I would have loved to have managed Didier Drogba, for two reasons,” the Gunners boss added.
“One, I missed him when he played at Le Mans in France, not even in the top league. I knew there was a good player there and I missed him.
“And secondly, because he hurt us so much in big games that all this pain would not have happened.”