The 2005 Ballon d'Or winner was persuaded by Sandro Rosell to move to the Catalan side from Paris Saint-Germain rather than sign for the Old Trafford outfit in 2003
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And the playmaker believes he made the correct choice, as he went onto win the Ballon d'Or just two years later.
"It almost happened with United," he told FourFourTwo.
"It was a matter of 48 hours, but Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: 'If I become Barca president, will you come?' I said yes.
"It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there. And I had promised to him that I'd play for Barca. It was a quick negotiation. I told the English I had chosen Barca.
"It was the right choice. Brazilians have always loved Barca. We have a history there. Off the pitch it is like nowhere else in Europe, so we are always happy playing there."