Ronaldinho Reuters

Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho has revealed just how close he came to joining Manchester United in 2003.

The Red Devils wanted to bring the former Paris Saint-Germain star to Old Trafford following his superb performances in the 2002 World Cup, which Brazil won with victory over Germany in the final.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, the 34-year-old has revealed that the negotiations between himself and the Red Devils came extremely close to fruition, but the fact that his close friend Sandro Rosell was about to become Barca president made ​​him change his mind at the last moment.

"It almost happened with United. It was a matter of 48 hours, but Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: 'If I become Barca president, will you come?' I said yes," he said.

"It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there. And I had promised to him that I would play for Barça. It was a quick negotiation. I told the English I had chosen Barca."

Ronaldinho, who won the World and European Footballer of the Year awards as well as the 2006 Champions League during his five years at the Camp Nou, is happy he made the right decision, saying: "It was the right choice.

"Brazilians have always loved Barça. We have a history there. Off the pitch it is like nowhere else in Europe, so we are always happy playing there."

The former AC Milan star - who joined Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro in 2012 from Flamengo - will always be remembered as one of the greatest attacking players of all time.