'I could have played for Man Utd' - Ronaldinho has no regrets at favouring Barcelona over Premier League teams

Ronaldinho Barcelona 2007
Getty Images
The Brazilian World Cup winner admits that he also received plenty of interest from Chelsea and that playing in England "could have been special"

Ronaldinho maintains that he has no regrets at having snubbed Premier League interest from Manchester United and Chelsea at the height of his playing career.

The Brazilian forward was one of the most sought-after talents in world football over the summer of 2003.

United were keen on landing the World Cup winner to help cover the loss of David Beckham to Real Madrid, with Paris Saint-Germain leaving themselves open to offers.

It was, however, to be a bid from Barcelona which blew all of the others out of the water and appealed the most to a man who would go on to win a number of major honours at Camp Nou – including the La Liga title, the Champions League and the World Player of the Year award.

'Neymar on same level as Messi & CR7'

“I never even thought of that,” Ronaldinho told FourFourTwo when quizzed on the interest from England.

“Yes, I could have played for another club, but I went to Barcelona because of my friendship with Sandro Rosell. I could have played for Manchester United. 

“My brother was already studying what I would do after PSG. I was a World Cup winner then, and that opened a lot of doors. 

“But when Sandro was elected, I had the chance to see the club and the city, and the choice became easy.”

Ronaldinho Barcelona 2005

Ronaldinho admits that he was also targeted by Chelsea at various stages throughout his career.

There was also talk of a possible shock switch to Blackburn Rovers at one stage, but no deal ever materialised and of the finest players of his generation never graced the English top-flight.

“I don’t regret not having played in England, but it could have been special because it’s a fantastic league,” Ronaldinho added.

'Special Messi is one of the greats'

“Chelsea tried to take me there once, and some other teams were interested in signing me, too. 

"The league there is so fast and so intense all of the time – it’s great to watch and not boring at all. 

"I don’t tend to watch all 90 minutes of Premier League games, but I will see more of the highlights and the goals in the Premier League than I see of other leagues around the world.”

Ronaldinho has been without a club since leaving Fluminense in September 2015 and is now 37 years of age.