Pato turned down Real Madrid

Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato has revealed he rejected the chance to join Real Madrid as a teenager and opted to join Milan instead.

Ten years on, the 27-year-old – who now plays for Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian – admitted he could have played at the Bernabeu but at the time preferred a move to Serie A.

“I had the possibility of joining Real Madrid when I was a 17-year-old, but I chose AC Milan, who at the time were winning everything,” Pato explained to Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Now it is a different AC Milan.

“(Carlo) Ancelotti was my mentor and (current boss, Fabio) Cannavaro has similar tactical ideas, and he is like my older brother.

“Being coached by a symbol of football is a stimulus – he could have signed many players (for Tianjin), but he chose me and that makes me proud.”

Pato scored 63 times across six seasons at the San Siro and recently had a short stint at Villarreal before moving to the Far East.