On the way to becoming a legend
From 1992 to 1995, Ronaldo played for an amateur team named Andorinha, which marked the beginning of a journey to become the world’s top footballer of all time. Later, he spent two years with another team, Nacional.
After achieving significant victories with the Nacional team, in 1997, at aged 12, Ronaldo received an invitation to join another football club. It was the biggest club in his country at that time, Sporting CP. He went on a three-day trial there before officially joining the club.
Because of Ronaldo’s family limited financial status, he had to leave his hometown Madeira on his own and travelled by ship and on foot to Lisboa.
At Sporting CP, Ronaldo set an incredible record to be the first player to play for the club under-16, under-17 and under-18 team, the B team, and the first team, all within a single season. The B team has the same meaning as the reserve team.
After a while playing for the Sporting academic, the talented footballer was unluckily diagnosed with a racing heart. A condition that could have forced him to give up his career as a footballer. The staff of the academy provided support to Ronaldo’s mother to take him to the hospital.
The surgery took place in the morning, and Ronaldo was discharged hours after the procedure and continued training a few days later.
There is a surprising fact that the first person to discover Ronaldo’s outstanding talent and wanted to “rescue” him from Sporting CP was the Liverpool coach Gérard Houllier when Ronaldo was 16 years old. However, the leader board of Liverpool refused to accept his transference because he was too young and needed times to develop his skills.
In the summer of 2013, Manchester’s coach Sir. Alex Ferguson had been deeply impressed by Ronaldo’s excellent skills in a friendly match with Manchester United.
In that match, he was a leader and a source of inspiration created two valuable chances for his teammates to score. United’s players were taken by surprise by Ronaldo’s exceptional performance and urged Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him a contract.
Afterwards, Ferguson decided to have Ronaldo in his team, who would replace David Beckham’s right winger with a transfer fee of 12,24 million pounds. In the first and last season of 2002-03 at Sporting CP, he scored a total of 5 goals in 31 matches on all fronts.
Another exciting fact was that the shirt number that Cristiano Ronaldo suggested when he moved to the “Red Devils“ was 28. However, Sir Alex put all his faith in the youngster’s talent and gave him the No. 7 shirt. It was previously worn by the legends of the team such as Cantona, Robson, Best, and Beckham.