18 Oct 2016

Better than Mane? Boss confirms 'Barcelona' tried to sign 'incredible' Liverpool hero

Barcelona have poached several Liverpool players over the years, and reports suggest that Barca also tried to sign one of the club's stars of the '90s.

Speaking to La Vanguardia over the weekend, former Deportivo La Coruna president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro claimed:

"Barcelona did not want Rivaldo, they were going for Liverpool's [Steve] McManaman, and getting Rivaldo was a fluke".

Rivaldo joined Barca from Deportivo, so Lendoiro obviously knows what he's talking about. I vividly remember Barcelona's interest in Mcmanaman back in 1997, and in August of that year, The Independent reported:

"Steve McManaman, one of Liverpool's finest home-grown talents, may join Barcelona today for £12m. The Spanish club tabled their offer yesterday and are keen to complete the transfer by midnight tonight".

Five months later, Barca were back in for McManaman, and Joan Gaspart, the club's vice-president (at the time), claimed:

"Everything has been agreed with [McManaman] and with the club. If Louis Van Gaal wants him then he will come to Barcelona after the World Cup."

Incredibly, McManaman rejected Barca, but he went on to join Real Madrid, and won two league titles and two Champions League medals, whilst playing alongside the likes of Zidane, Raul, Figo and Roberto Carlos.

Clearly, all's well that ends well (!)

Along with John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush, and Sami Hyypia, McManaman is one of my favourite ever players, and he was an absolute joy to watch for Liverpool. Forget Sadio Mane - Macca was in a different league, and since he left, Liverpool haven't (IMO) had another dribbler as good.

Just one of Macca's many amazing goals:

* 2015: Hailed by Robbie Fowler as 'incredible' and the 'best' player he played with (along with Gerrard)


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