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Not signing Ronaldo is my biggest regret - Wenger

31 August 2014 20:04

Missing out on bringing Cristiano Ronaldo to Arsenal is Arsene Wenger's biggest regret in football, the manager has claimed.

Wenger - who has managed Arsenal since 1996 - has led the north London club to three Premier League titles and five FA Cup successes.

The Frenchman is widely admired for his side's style of football and he also oversaw the first unbeaten league season in English football in more than 100 years when Arsenal's 'Invincibles' waltzed to the 2003-04 Premier League title.

But when asked to name his biggest regret in the sport, Wenger had no hesitation about selecting his failure to sign Ronaldo at Arsenal.

The Portuguese winger - then at Sporting Lisbon - toured Arsenal in 2003 but a price could not be agreed with the Primeira Liga outfit.

Ronaldo later signed for Manchester United and the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner inspired the club to three Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League success before leaving for Real Madrid for £80million.

"My biggest regret...I was so close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo," Wenger told Arsenal's official smartphone sponsor, Huawei.

"And not only did I not get him - he signed for Manchester United. So that of course still hurts today."

Wenger also named Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as a player he would have rather managed than seen his sides play against.

Drogba has been particularly prolific against Arsenal, scoring 15 goals in as many matches.

"I missed him when he was playing in France and I knew he was a good player then," he added.

"And he hurt us so much in big games, and so if he played for us it would not have happened."

Wenger also said that he felt Arsenal were in a better position to contest for Premier League honours this season.

They sit seventh in the table after four matches but Wenger feels the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez can help sustain their title push for the entire campaign.

"We're in a more comfortable position [to challenge for the title this season]," he added.

"We can keep our big players and buy big players such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
2 5 +6 10
3 5 +0 10
4 5 +4 9
5 5 +2 9
6 5 +3 8

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