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I Even Called President’s Wife – Former Winger On Nearly Move To Liverpool

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Former Benfica and Portugal winger Simao Sabrosa has opened up on his proposed switch to Liverpool, which collapsed at the end of the summer 2005 transfer window. 

Having won the Champions League in their first season with Rafael Benitez in charge, Liverpool looked to Simao to bolster their attacking options for the 2005/06 campaign.  

It did seem that the transfer would go through and Simao admits that he waited outside the airport ready to fly to Liverpool, but the Benfica president pulled the plug and the attacker stayed put at the Estadio da Luz.

Simao tried to rescue the move himself and even resorted to calling the Benfica president's wife when the club supremo turned his phone off. 

"I was in the national team and Benfica were negotiating with Liverpool. I informed [Portugal coach Luiz Felipe] Scolari that the transfer was going to take place, I asked him if he would give me permission to leave the hotel to undertake the medical tests and sign", Simao recalled to BTV.

"Then they called at six in the morning to say the deal was done. Jorge Baidek was dealing with Rafa Benitez's representative.

"When I arrived at Baidek's office, the president called to say that he did not accept the transfer and that I could not travel.

"I was not on the plane, but I was outside the airport waiting for authorisation to travel to Liverpool.

"The president had been in negotiations all night, I called his wife because the president had his phone off, because he was resting, and she handed him the phone", the Portuguese explained.

"'If I let you go the fans will turn on me, you are the most important player, I will not give authorisation' [the president said].

"And I went back to the national team."

Simao eventually departed Benfica in the summer of 2007 after the Portuguese giants accepted an offer of €20m from Atletico Madrid.

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