Franck Ribery was deemed not good enough for Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson during the Frenchman’s time at Marseille in 2006, according to Alistair Campbell.
Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief, is a close friend of Ferguson’s and sat alongside Man United’s greatest ever manager as Marseille faced Bolton Wanderers in the UEFA Cup in February 2006.
Ferguson watched Ribery for just 45 minutes before deciding against trying to sign him.
Of course, Ribery went on to have monumental success at Marseille, being named Ligue 1 Player of the Year, and then earning a move to FC Bayern Munich where he’s won every trophy there is to be won.
Campbell wrote in his latest set of published diaries, “Alex was watching Franck Ribery, the Marseille winger, but decided by half-time he was not good enough for United.”
Ribery is one of a number of high-profile players who were often linked with United, though not quite as extensively as Wesley Sneijder or Nicolas Gaitan.
The Frenchman was one of Europe’s best players for some years, consistently producing world-class performances for Bayern Munich.
At United, he could have been part of one of the great sides in the club’s history. Back in 2006, he would have joined up with Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney both coming to the peaks in their United careers.
However, not signing Ribery indirectly saw Ferguson look to Carlos Tevez and later Dimitar Berbatov, both of whom had great spells at Old Trafford.