Pavel Nedved reveals Manchester United move was on table after Calciopoli

Pavel Nedved

The Czech Republic great, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2003, decided to stay with the Turin club after their demotion rather than moving to his English club of choice, Manchester United.

Nedved remained with the Old Lady until his retirement in 2009 and has since become a director at the club, but he has now revealed that another path was available to him.

“I’ve always appreciated English football and the Premier League, I’ve always liked it,” he told The Telegraph. (opens in new tab)

“My agent received some offers and I have always been a great supporter of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, specifically, at that time.

“They were certainly one of our greatest opponents and also a great source of inspiration and drive and desire.

“He (Ferguson) achieved great things, unprecedented things and I don’t know if anyone else in the future will be able to achieve what he did.”

Nedved was one of several world-class players to stay with Juventus following their relegation to Serie B and help the club return to the top flight at the first attempt, along with the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet.

“I have always been asked this question – whether it was difficult or not to stay in that critical moment,” Nedved said.

“And my answer has always been no. It was actually easy to stay. The other players who made the same decision thought the same – that is: what would have happened if we had all left the club?

“We decided to stay because we felt the responsibility (that word again) to return to the club exactly what we had received. The club believed in us so it was the right time to give back. That’s why it was easy.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.