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Arsene Wenger reveals how close Arsenal came to having Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the same team

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were both coveted by Arsene Wenger during his time at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arsene Wenger insists he would have had no problem managing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had he signed both players for Arsenal.

The legendary Frenchman confirmed he was close to signing the former Real Madrid superstar and attempted to prise Messi from Barcelona at the same time he brought Cesc Fabregas to north London.

Wenger admitted Messi, who broke into Barcelona’s first team as a 16-year-old, was already too well established in Frank Rijkaard’s side, but Wenger would have loved to have harnessed the ability of the record breaking Argentine alongside Ronaldo.

‘True,’ he said when asked by beIN Sports presenter Richard Keys whether or not he almost signed Ronaldo before he joined Manchester United.

Wenger added: ‘We tried but we were not near to signing Messi. We tried to sign Pique, Fabregas and with Messi we had already tried.

"That's real fantasy football"

Wenger admits both Messi and Ronaldo ?????? signed for Arsenal!#beINWenger #beINPL

Live Blog ?

— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) November 10, 2019

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‘But already he was too big at the time. Don’t forget 2006 when we played the Champions League final against Barcelona Messi couldn’t play because he was injured.

‘He’s today 32 and that’s 13 years ago and he was already a regular player in the first team. What these guys have done is unbelievable.’

As to whether they could’ve played together at Arsenal at a time when the Gunners also boasted the likes of Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, he said: ‘That’s real fantasy football I must say.

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‘I would have loved it. I had big personalities in my life and if you meet their needs and give them what they want they are happy.’

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