- Back in 2003, Man United were looking to sell Beckham.
- Barca had an agreement with the Red Devils and met with the player to discuss personal terms.
- However, David was already in advanced negotiations with Los Blancos.
- Eventually, the Catalans went for Ronaldinho.
In his recent interview with Barcabuzz, ex-Barcelona president Joan Laporta opened up on missing out on David Beckham back in 2003:
"I heard about the ‘boot incident‘ of Beckham and his coach Alex Ferguson, so I knew that Manchester United looked to sell him. The next step was to reach a deal with Manchester United, and that was pretty easy. However, in that deal we had a confidentiality agreement in which both sides wasn’t supposed to speak about it.
"The next day in a press conference a journalist asked me about the Beckham deal, so I confirmed it. It was a mistake because this happened before we spoke with the agent. I went with Sandro [Rosell] to Nice, where we talked with Beckham’s agents. At that time they said that Real Madrid also want him, but we thought they said it to increase that price.
"We met with Beckham’s agents, gave him pictures of Barcelona, souvenirs of Gaudi, and other monuments, in order to make him feel comfortable. However, at that time he was pretty much secured for Real Madrid."
Eventually, the ex-English international did end up joining Los Blancos. The Catalans shifted their attention towards Ronaldinho, who was at the time playing for Paris Saint-Germain:
'Luckily for us, Roanldnho was too ugly for Real Madrid (laughs). So when we wanted to sign him, Madrid didn’t try to stop us."
Laporta served as Barca's president between 2003 and 2010 and the Brazilian wizard became one of the most important transfers of his era. Ronaldinho ended up helping Barca return to greatness by winning the 2006 Champions League.
Would have you prefered Beckham instead of Ronaldinho?