Sporting Lisbon considering renaming stadium after

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Cristiano Ronaldo could be set to have a stadium named after him as Sporting consider rebranding Estadio Jose Alvalade.

The club’s home venue is currently named after founder, Jose Alvalade, and has been known as such since 1956.

But after such a long run, a change is being contemplated by current Sporting president Frederico Varandas with Ronaldo firmly in contention to receive the honour.

The Juventus star joined the club in 1997 as a 12-year-old and worked his way up to their first-team where he was quickly scouted by Manchester United.

While his senior career didn’t last long at Sporting, Ronaldo has left a lasting legacy at the club with Varandas confirming they are considering renaming Estadio Jose Alvalade after him.

“It is an idea that we do not put aside and one of which we would obviously be very proud of,” Varandas told Tuttosport.

“Cristiano is – and always will be – one of the greatest symbols of our club’s history. We are proud to be associated with Cristiano Ronaldo and that the name of the best footballer in the world is combined with Sporting.

“As far as our young people are concerned, we are trying to keep his example inside the academy.”

Ronaldo’s early commitment at Sporting is now the thing of legend with many former teammates since revealing how dedicated he was – even at such an early age.

Spanish midfielder Tonito is one of those and told Gazzetta earlier this year how much of impact he made at the club.

“During training, he’d turn heads among the veterans,” Tonito said.

“I’d say to him: ‘Steady, don’t overdo it.’ I would also give him lifts [to and from training]. But I’d have to wait an hour at the training ground because he never wanted to leave.

“I’d bang on the window of the gym and say: ‘Come on, Cris, it’s time to stop – it’s getting late!”

Estadio Jose Alvalade was rebuilt at the turn of the millennium and re-opened in 2003 with an expanded capacity of just over 50,000.

The first match played at the venue following the reconstruction was Sporting’s famous 3-1 win over the Red Devils – a game where Ronaldo showed he’d very quickly become a household name.

 

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