Football players that got away from Manchester United
Pique has to be be first on the list as I am 100% sure Sir Alex is kicking himself for not trying to keep him at Manchester United.
He arrived from the fabled Barcelona youth system as a young boy of seventeen and stayed at Manchester united for four years. No fee was paid to Barcelona as he was to young to have a professional contract. During his time with Manchester United he made a total of twelve appearances for the club and was loaned out to Real Zaragoza in the 2006 / 2007 season for which he made twenty two appearances.
He returned to Barcelona in 2008 for a fee of €5 million when he hadn't broke into the Manchester United first team.
Since going back to Barcelona in 2008 he has won the La Liga three times, Copa del Rey twice, Supercopa de Espana three times, UEFA Champions league twice, UEFA Super Cup twice and the FIFA Club World Cup twice.
Also winning the FIFA World cup and UEFA European Champions at international level with Spain.
When at Manchester United although not being first choice for defence he still won the Premier League, FA Community Shield and UEFA Champions league in his time there.
With a massive haul of medals and still only twenty six he is a player that SIr Alex Ferguson must realise he should have stayed at Manchester United but in my view his greatest achievement to date is that he is dating and has a child with the stunning singer Shakira...
Probably a very controversial choice as he played one hundred and ninety six games for Manchester United before moving to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80 million.
If you ask any one who is the best footballer on the planet they will either say Ronaldo or Messi but it all started for him when he joined Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson was convinced to buy him by the players at the time after an exhibition match with Sporting Lisbon in which Ronaldo played, he went on to buy him for a fee of £12.24 million which was unheard of at the time for such a young unproven player.
After a few fairly successful seasons with Manchester United it wasn't until 2006 / 2007 season that Ronaldo really broke onto the world scene. It was a bet made with Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the season, in which he said he would sore 15 goals. Ronaldo went on to score 20 goals in all competitions and prove Sir Alex Ferguson right. A similar bet was made the following season between Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson in which Sir Alex said he would score 20 goals and again Ronaldo proved him right by scoring 37 in all competitions.
While at United he won the premier league three times, the FA Cup once, Football League Cup twice, FA Community Shield once, UEFA Champions League once and the FIFA Club world cup once.
There is no doubting Ronaldo's raw talent and his scoring record since the 2007 / 2008 season has never dipped below 30 goals a season. Although not wining as many trophies with Real Madrid since leaving Manchester United his individual titles has been immense, scoring against every team in a La Liga season, scoring in six consecutive Clasicos, most expensive footballer in history, highest scoring record in a premier league season, the list is endless.
One day hopefully he will return to the club that made him.... Wishful thinking.
Diego Forlan was bought by Manchester United for £7 million in 2002, coming from a very successful career with Independiente.
At his time with Manchester United he was limited to 63 appearances over 4 seasons and a scoring record of 14 goals, a poor return which promoted Sir Alex Ferguson to sell him to Villarreal at the end of the 2004 / 2005 season.
It was in his time at Villarreal that Forlan proved to be a world class striker, in stark contrast to his time at Manchester United he made 128 appearances for Villarreal, scoring 58 goals. He was made first choice striker for his international team Uruguay and has played even helped them through to 4th place in the World Cup in 2010.
Since leaving United he has gone on to play for Athletico Madrid, Inter Milan, currently with Internacional in Brazil as well as Villarreal, winning the UEFA Intertoto cup, UEFA Europe League and the UEFA Super Cup.
The New Jersey lad born of Italian descent joined Manchester United as a teenager at seventeen in 2004.
He was only a year with Manchester United when he broke into the first team, making a handful of appearances before being loaned out to Newcastle to gain more experience. During his season long loan with Newcastle he made eleven appearance but scored no goals, this prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to again loan him out the following season, this time to Parma where he had a better run. While at Parma he scored 9 goals in 19 appearances before heading back to Manchester United at the end of the 2006 / 2007 season.
As Manchester United had a large choice of first team strikers Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sell Rossi to give him a chance. It was at the start of the 2008 season that he was sold to Villarreal, the same time that former Manchester United player Diego Forlan had left them for Althetico Madrid.
Rossi has played 136 games and scored 54 goals for Villarreal but his time has been limited due to two cruciate knee injuries which have put him on the sideline for 6 months and 10 months respectively.
If Rossi can keep fit he is definitely going to be one of the top strikers in Europe. He is now plying his trade with Fiorentina, where he was bought for €10 million in January 2013 and also in the Italian first team set up.