Cristiano Ronaldo, a striker for Manchester United, congratulated Sporting Lisbon on the 20th anniversary of their academy in a statement delivered to the club where he spent his formative years.
Ronaldo, after whom the academy is named, stated he would like to go to the Portuguese club soon.
In honor of the former Juventus and Real Madrid star’s unparalleled legacy, Sporting Lisbon renamed their Academy after him in September 2020.
Sporting Lisbon received a touching video greeting from Ronaldo on Tuesday, which the team shared on Twitter.
Below is what Ronaldo had to say (translated by A Z): “Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Academy, for all the goals you have achieved, and for all the success you have achieved. It is a great honour to have the Academy bear my name, and I hope to see you soon.”
Ronaldo, 37, joined Sporting Lisbon’s Academy at the tender age of 12.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner made his first-team debut for the club five years later in October 2002 against Braga.
The Portugal captain left Sporting in August 2003 to join Manchester United for £12.24 million.