The Portuguese and Leonel Pontes, then Sporting CP academy coach, once again recalled how the episode in which the star left Madeira and arrived in Lisbon was.
Having won the Ballon d’Or five times, Euro 2016 with Portugal and champion of multiple titles throughout his football career, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to be, in the final stretch of his career, the one of the great stars of the beautiful game.
Now at Manchester United, after triumphing at Juventus and Real Madrid, the Portuguese footballer has embarked on a new journey in the world of football with Sporting CP, which he joined at a very young age.
The Lisbon cast were the ones that formed the legend, but nothing was easy for the Madeiran, who experienced one of his worst moments when he had to leave his home to travel to the capital.
“My family was saying goodbye to me. They were wearing sunglasses, but I could see the tears flowing. I went with this picture on the plane. It was the hardest moment of my career. Of course, I cried”commented Cristiano in a video published by the national team of Portugal for ‘Dugout’.
However, one of the protagonists of this story was Leonel Pontes, at the time technician of the academy of the Lisbon institution, who also recalled how the name of the Portuguese star reached his ears.
“In 1997 they told us there was a high quality boy in Madeira. He was different from the others. individualistic, with personality, competitive. It’s hard to find a boy with that talent, emotional control and leadership that he had.”did he declare.
“Early on, he thought about his body, about improving his striking…”said Pontes who went to him and, despite the fact that Cristiano did not play this duel, he managed to give him the ball in the previous match. It was here that the Portuguese showed his skills.
“We have to sign it”, the coach thought at that moment. “This is where my journey began. When I left my family in Madeira, it was the most difficult thing in my professional career.”concluded Ronaldo, who is currently considered one of the best footballers in the history of football.