Ronaldo’s professional journey started back in 2002 at Jose Alvalade Stadium, as he rapidly established himself as one of the Primeira Liga’s most promising young players.
During a pre-season friendly one year later, he attracted the eye of Manchester United officials and went on to complete a £ 12 million ($15 m) move to Old Trafford at the age of 18.
By winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, and the first of his five Ballon d’Or trophies, the Portugal international achieved the very highest level of the game with the Red Devils.
In 2009, Real Madrid managed to drag him away from United, and he won four more Santiago Bernabeu European Cups while also being the club’s all-time top goalscorer.
When he signed for Juventus two years ago, Ronaldo called time on his nine-year spell in Spain and has since continued to set unparalleled levels of excellence despite progressing well into his thirties, with his consistency on the field and professionalism off it.
In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments, Sporting have now named their academy facility after their favorite son, with the following statement released on Monday via their official website: “It is with great honor that Sporting Clube de Portugal announces that the Clube Academy will be called Academia Cristiano Ronaldo.”
“The successful son makes the house and Cristiano Ronaldo’s house now welcomes his name honor of the one who became the greatest Portuguese player of all time, the best player in the world, was awarded five times the Ballon d’Or and captained the European Championship and Nations League national team success.”
“At the age of 12, Cristiano Ronaldo joined the Leonina family in 1997. He made his senior debut against Inter on August 14, 2002, at just 17 years old. Thus, the name of the greatest icon ever created will be immortalized by the Academy and it will be an inspiration for all the youngest talents to follow.”
“On a date to be announced and as soon as conditions permit, the formal inauguration of the club will take place.”