Sporting CP have officially renamed their academy after former player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s professional journey began at Jose Alvalade Stadium way back in 2002, as he quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young players in the Primeira Liga.
He caught the attention of Manchester United officials during a pre-season friendly one year later, and went on to complete a £12 million ($15m) switch to Old Trafford at the age of 18.
Sporting have now named their academy facility after their favourite son in honour of his outstanding achievements, with the following statement released via their official website on Monday: “It is with great honour that Sporting Clube de Portugal informs that the Clube 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 the best 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 will be an inspiration to follow for all the youngest talents.
“On a date to be announced, and as soon as conditions permit, the club will make the official inauguration.