The five-time Ballon d’Or winner left Sporting for Old Trafford in 2003, and would eventually make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu for a then world-record fee six years later.
But it was the opportunity to work with Sir Alex Ferguson that most appealed to Ronaldo as a teenager, while Mendes felt United was the best option to continue his development.
Speaking after being named the Player of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards, Ronaldo said: ‘Many clubs were interested in me. But the key man as always was Jorge Mendes.
‘He has always guided me in the right direction. Of course, I remember that he talked also about Juventus, and I was happy because they are an extraordinary club.
‘He also talked about Real Madrid, Manchester United and many others. But the club that offered me the best conditions were United.
‘It was a dream because as a kid I always wanted to play in the Premier League.
‘United gave me this opportunity and for that I have to thank Sir Alex Ferguson and obviously Jorge helped me to arrive there.’
Ronaldo is rumoured to be unhappy at Real Madrid at present, with the club languishing in fourth place in the Liga table after a poor campaign so far, and has frequently been linked with a return to United.
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