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De Boer: I could have chosen Man Utd over Rangers when I left Barcelona

8:39 PM GMT+4 01/05/2019
Ronald de Boer ex Barcelona player
The retired Dutch great has spoken about his exit from La Liga at the turn of the century and revealed just how close he came to the Premier League

Former Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder Ronald de Boer says that he opted for a move to Rangers over Manchester United as he felt he would be limited for opportunities at Old Trafford.

The retired Dutch attacker further revealed that it was a conversation with then-Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson that helped sway his decision to snub the recent European champions.

De Boer, a two-time Ballon d’Or nominee, won domestic titles in three nations as well as achieving Champions League and UEFA Cup success throughout a near-two decade-long career.

Having won much of his silverware with Ajax during their dominant nineties period, alongside his brother Frank, he made the transition to La Liga for a two season spell that ultimately saw him lose form in front of goal.

He subsequently was faced with the option of either linking up with fellow countryman Dick Advocaat at Ibrox or to join United under Ferguson, then Premier League champions.

Speaking to talkSPORT, De Boer revealed that discussions with the Scottish supremo in charge of the Premier League ultimately convinced him that he would prefer Rangers, as he would likely find himself with greater chances to play in Glasgow.

“When I went to Rangers I could have also chosen Manchester United,” the 48-yearold stated. “People said at the time ‘how could you not choose it?’

“I talked about it with Ferguson and he said ‘we only have two players who always play who are Roy Keane and David Beckham and the rest I rotate a lot. So you will be with Butt, Scholes and the other guys. You will be rotated but I want you in the team’.

“But I had a little bit of fear over my left knee and if they said ‘you are not fit enough and we can’t take you because of your knee’, I would have a stamp on my forehead saying that I was not suitable for football.

“With Rangers I thought I had a better chance going there, with a four-year contract, and I was going to play there for sure.”

De Boer went on to spend four seasons with Rangers, where he linked up with other Dutch internationals including Bert Konterman and Arthur Numan.

He lifted the Scottish Premier League title and the Scottish Cup twice during his stay, in which he made over a hundred appearances for the club.