We have all heard the stories about how Arsene Wenger could have assembled an Arsenal team that would have had all of the best players in the world in the same dressing room at one point during his tenure.
Of course, some of his remarks would suggest that he thought he was playing a game of fantasy football at times, however there is no denying that he was a manager that could have made it happen if he had the resources available to him.
Let’s face it, the Gunners were exceptional under his guidance for much of his time at the club and were one of the teams that many would have loved to have played in during the 2000s, whilst many would have been using sites such as betting-sites.ca to find the best odds to bet on them winning if it were possible at the time.
In a recent event that took place at the London Palladium, Wenger – who was with David Dein at the event – spoke about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and how close he came to actually bringing them to the club and potentially having them star for his side instead of others.
The pair had wanted to bring in the two superstars around 20 years ago, so watching them and thinking what could have been will have been a hard watch considering what they managed to do throughout their respective careers.
As we know, Messi remained at Barcelona until last summer when he swapped the Spanish city for the French capital and joined Paris Saint-Germain, whilst CR7 decided to make a return to England and Manchester United after spending time in Italy with Juventus.
“Messi we were interested in, but it was not possible,” said Wenger, who was speaking at an event for the Twinning Project on Monday night at the London Palladium (via the Evening Standard).
“They (Barcelona) had Fabregas, Messi and [Gerard] Pique in the same generation. We tried to get [them]. Messi was not possible, Barcelona extended it (his contract). Fabregas wanted to leave, Pique as well.
“He (Pique) landed at Manchester United and Cesc joined us. I refuse to go into that game, because if I go into my room and write on the wall all the players I miss out on, I don’t finish well my life.”
Speaking about a possible deal for Ronaldo, Dein added: “We are now turning the clock back when Cristiano was 17 and playing in the Portuguese Under-19 team.
“He was spotted by our chief scout. Arsene said: ‘Look, do you want to go over and see him play?’ I said: ‘Yeah sure, I’ll go across’.
“I went with our chief scout and I remember seeing the Portuguese Under-19 team play and Cristiano did really well.
“Then the agent, who was with us at the time, said: ‘Well, believe it or not he is going to meet us for dinner afterwards’.
“We had a dinner at a sort of a curb-side restaurant. He was a really nice guy and he actually gave me his shirt. It’s one of several shirts that I’ve got hanging in my cupboard at home. He gave me his shirt that he played in.
“We discussed a little bit of money and the agent said: ‘Well, let him think about it overnight’. Then Cristiano said: ‘I’ve got to go now, my bus is going’.
“He jumped on his bus and he went home. The following day I was discussing with the agent and about six hours later Manchester United blew us out of the water.
“That was the Cristiano Ronaldo story. I think we were being used a little bit as a stalking house, because I think he was always going to go to Manchester United at the time.”
Oh, what could have been for Arsenal and Wenger if the players mentioned joined the team when they decided to look at them and try and sign them?!
Perhaps like Wenger said, it might be best not to look at what happened too much, otherwise we might not be able to finish our own lives well, either, especially after the pain that the club has caused over the last few years!