You can’t mention football in Portugal without the name Cristiano Ronaldo. No wonder the five-time Ballon d’or winner has been honored by a club with which he began his professional career.
Sporting CP announced officially on Monday that they have renamed their academy after Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo started his professional career with the club in 2002 where he quickly established himself as one of the brightest young talents in the club’s history.
However, he was destined for greatness and it came as no surprise that he caught the attention of Manchester United scouts during a friendly match, and went on to complete a switch to the Theatre of dreams at just 18.
His time at old Trafford was a successful one and a turnaround moment in his career. Ronaldo would go on to win three league titles, a champions league and his first Ballon d’or in 2008.
In 2009, Real Madrid paid the price for his services and he didn’t fail to deliver. In fact, he had the best of his career at the Santiago Bernabeu where he won four more champions league and also became the club’s all time leading goal scorer with 417 goals.
At 35, Ronaldo plays for Italian giants Juventus and he hasn’t stopped showing just how great a player he is and he continues to add to his long list of achievements.
All these and many more has made his boyhood club Sporting CP to rename their academic facility after him in honour of his outstanding performances as he continues to be an inspiration on and off the field for young aspiring footballers.
The club released the following statement via their official website: “It’s with great honour that Sporting Clubs De Portugal informs that the Clubs academy will be renamed Academia Cristiano Ronaldo.
” The good son makes the house and the house that made Cristiano Ronaldo now welcomes his name in honour of the one who became Portuguese player of all time, the best player in the world, was awarded the Ballon d’or five times and captained the national team to European Championship and Nations league success.
“Cristiano Ronaldo joined the Leonina family in 1997 at the age of 12. On August 14, 2002, at just 17 years old, he made his senior debut against Inter.
” The Academy will thus immortalise the name of the greatest symbol ever formed and that would be an inspiration to follow for all the younger talents.
“On a date to be announced, and as soon as conditions permit, the club will make an official inauguration.
“The tribute is part of a project to recognise several reference points of the club, including some of the greatest talents produced by the academy, whose training camps will receive their names. This list will be announced shortly.
” The Cristiano Ronaldo academy will represent ADN Sporting in its excellence and will follow the destinies of the one that now gives it its name: to be the best in the world.
“Congratulations to the player Cristiano for his entire journey, thanks to Leão Ronaldo for his effort, dedication, devotion and glory.
“Once Leo, always Leo!”