Brazil legend Ronaldo has revealed that he considered buying a Major League Soccer franchise before opting to acquire Spanish club Real Valladolid.
The former Barcelona and Real Madrid star purchased a 51 percent stake of Real Valladolid in 2018 for €30 million and became the club’s president.
Ronaldo was previously a minority owner of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a team in the North American Soccer League, but it folded in 2016, two years after he bought in.
“I went to New York and I had a meeting with the MLS president and he presented his ideas ‘you can win all you want but if you don’t have €70m for the franchise, you go nowhere,’” Ronaldo said. “That made me reject that project.
“Then I went to London to study sports management and sports marketing.”
Ronaldo said he continued his search for a club after the 2018 World Cup.
“I looked a lot, in the [English] Championship but everything was too expensive. The Premier League is a complete success worldwide and so is the Championship. But you had to have £60m, so I then looked in Portugal and Spain, where the prices were more affordable.”
Even so, it appeared that Ronaldo would not find a club to purchase. Yet an opportunity arose that he didn’t want to pass up.
“When I was no longer thinking about that, I heard there was an opportunity at Valladolid. I negotiated for a week and ended up paying €30m.”
A two-time World Cup winner with Brazil, Ronaldo played six seasons in LaLiga one for Barcelona in 1996-97 and five for Real Madrid, beginning in 2002-03.
Valladolid defended their LaLiga status for two consecutive seasons after Ronaldo’s takeover before being relegated to the second division in the 2020-21 campaign after finishing second from bottom in the standings.