Ronaldinho convinced Manchester United flop Kleberson to make the move to Old Trafford by telling his fellow World Cup winner he was also on his way to the Red Devils.
Kleberson made just 30 appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side before being flogged to Besiktas just two years later, after Ronaldinho backed out of a move to United.
Kleberson joined United for £6million in 2003 from Atletico Paranaense and was presented to the media alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, but the two went on to have very different careers at the club.
Speaking to ESPN, he said: “Ronaldinho told me he was going to Manchester.
“He kept saying to me, ‘Come to Manchester!’ I wanted to go, but I was reluctant because I didn’t speak English and United didn’t have any Portuguese speakers.
“Ronaldinho persuaded me and I went to Manchester. But he didn’t.”
Kleberson won 32 caps for Brazil, including starts in the final three games of his country’s 2002 World Cup triumph.
But he could not translate his international form onto the pitch for his club, playing just 20 league games between 2005 and 2007 and scoring two goals.
Ronaldinho’s tale was not a wild goose chase however.
In March he revealed to FourFourTwo he was 48 hours from signing for United, to replace the Madrid-bound David Beckham.
But then he received a last-ditch call from Sandro Rosell, who was about to be elected Barcelona president, and completed a £25million move to the Nou Camp instead.
Ronaldinho said: “It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there.
“And I had promised to him that I’d play for Barca. It was a quick negotiation.
“I told the English I had chosen Barca. It was the right choice, Brazilians have always loved Barça, we have a history there.
“Off the pitch it is like nowhere else in Europe, so we are always happy playing there. I miss Barcelona a lot.”