Brazilian forward Ronaldinho says Manchester United would have more European Cups had they signed him in 2003 instead of going for Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

United were on the brink of recruiting the then Paris Saint Germain star as a replacement for David Beckham, but after talks fell through, clinched a deal for Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon, who helped guide the club to the Champions League in 2008.

But Ronaldinho, who has been recalled to the Brazil squad for the friendly against England, says United passed up several other major European triumphs by failing to sign him 10 years ago.

Ronaldinho claims United's success would have been greater has they signed him.

"If Manchester United had signed me they would have won more European Cups," Ronaldinho told

"I have played for some of the biggest teams in the world and won everything."

Speaking in 2009, after Ronaldo's sale to Real Madrid, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said the club would have missed out on signing the 28 year old had they opted for Ronaldinho, who eventually joined Barcelona from PSG.

"I thought we'd clinched the deal (for Ronaldinho), but when I flew to Paris to speak with him, the goalposts seemed to have moved somehow," Ferguson said.

"His people complained that to me that it didn't seem as though they were getting the same deal we'd previously agreed. The next thing I know, he was at Barcelona the following day.

"It was a big disappointment at the time, but we signed Cristiano Ronaldo that very same summer and perhaps we wouldn't have ended up with Ronaldo had we got Ronaldinho."

The 32 year old, currently with Atletico Mineiro, has forced his way back into the international scene under new boss Luis Felipe Scolari, who took over in 2012 in the lead up to the World Cup.

"Ronaldinho may be 32 but last year, he had a spectacular championship with Atletico Mineiro, where he was the leader of team," Scolari said.

"He has leadership qualities and he is good enough to play for several years.

"He will show me whether I am right or wrong to cap him once again and he will have to show how quickly he can integrate into the team."