Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he told Manchester United to put a 150 million pound price tag on Cristiano Ronaldo’s head in 2009 -- and believes Real Madrid would have paid it.
The Portuguese winger became the most expensive player in football history when he joined the Spanish club for 80 million pounds but Ferguson believes United could have brought in almost twice as much money.
And he is convinced Real president Florentino Perez would have paid such a staggering sum to take the current World Player of the Year to the Bernabeu and remains disappointed that former United chief executive David Gill ignored his advice.
"The only thing that hurt me, and I said this repeatedly to David Gill, was that we didn't demand enough.
"I told David, 'Ask for 150 million.' He said: 'Don't be silly. They'll never pay 150 million.'"
Ronaldo, who joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, had scored 91 goals in his final three seasons at Old Trafford when Real came calling.
He has gone on to score 238 goals in just 233 games for Real and was named the world’s outstanding footballer of 2013 by FIFA.
Real have gone on to break the world transfer record again by spending a reported 85 million pounds on Gareth Bale last summer, an outlay which has left Ferguson wondering just how Real would have gone for Ronaldo.
"I believe he cost 80 million pounds or something like that," Ferguson added. "But I still keep asking myself what senor Perez would have said if we asked for 150. Considering that they signed Gareth Bale for 85 million pounds, I believe they would have agreed to pay between 80 and 150 million. I am sure, because I know that Perez knew perfectly the quality of the player he was getting, as shown by Cristiano's stats at United.
"That is the only disappointing aspect. If we had got 150 million, I would have kept talking about it for the rest of my life, because it would have been fabulous to receive that amount of money, not just from Real Madrid but from any football club. Nevertheless, Cristiano left with my blessing and we received a fair amount."