Leonardo: PSG tried to sign Ronaldo
ESPN FC: "Perfect Combination"
Former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo said he tried "everything possible" to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid for the French giants.
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Ronaldo was heavily linked with a move to PSG throughout the 2012-13 season, and then during the summer 2013 transfer window, when he was thought to be unsettled at Madrid and considering leaving the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. In the end the Portugal captain opted to sign a contract extension worth upwards of 20 million euros a year tying him to Madrid until 2018 last September.
Leonardo told Telefoot that conversations about the move had taken place but in the end it had been 'mission impossible'.
"We did everything possible, but it was impossible because of Real Madrid," Leonardo said. "He did not want to leave. It was mission impossible. He told us that PSG was a great team, but that he preferred to stay at Madrid."
The former Brazil international also said that PSG were interested in signing the best players in the world.
"Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, [Franck] Ribery… they are always the dream," he said. "If you see a possibility with them then you always try for it. I would have preferred to get Ribery."
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, last week named Europe's best under-21 player in 2013, was another PSG had attempted to bring in, Leonardo said.
"He is good enough to play for PSG," he said. "We tried to sign him, but we could not do it."
Leonardo is currently out of the game having resigned from his role as sporting director at PSG last summer, after he was suspended from all official matchday duties for 12 months following an incident in which he barged referee during a game last May.