Cristiano Ronaldo could be given Sporting Lisbon stadium honour when he retires
Cristiano Ronaldo ’s boyhood club Sporting Lisbon are contemplating renaming their stadium after the Portugal star, according to their president Frederico Verandas.
Sporting’s ground is currently named ‘Estadio José Alvalade’ after the man who founded the club in 1906.
However, the club could decide to hand Ronaldo the ultimate honour, with ‘CR7 Arena’ and ‘Cristiano Ronaldo Stadium’ being mooted as potential new names.
Now at Juventus, the 34-year-old is close to becoming just the sixth player to score 700 career goals after he netted his 699th against Luxembourg in Portugal’s 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win.
Only Josef Bican, Pele, Romario, Ferenc Puskas and Gerd Muller have hit the landmark before and, with such outstanding goalscoring returns, it is no wonder that the club where Ronaldo started his professional career is keen to honour him.
When asked about the potential stadium name change, Varandas told Tuttosport: ‘It’s a theory we will not shelve and obviously we’d be very proud to have his name associated with us.
“Cristiano is and always will be one of the greatest symbols in the history of our club.”
Varandas also explained how having Ronaldo’s name forever associated with Sporting is a great way to inspire their future stars.
“We’re already keeping his values on the walls of the youth academy, focusing on passion, sacrifice, discipline, leadership and determination.
“Cristiano is certainly the best Portuguese player of all time and one of the best athletes in the history of the sport.”
According to Tuttosport, should Sporting go through with the renaming process, the most likely new name is ‘Estadio José Alvalade CR7’.
That way, the club could pay tribute both past and modern day Sporting icons.
Ironically, the game where he secured his move to Old Trafford was the official opening of the Estadio José Alvalade.
Ronaldo will be looking to net his landmark 700th goal when he lines up for Portugal against Ukraine on Monday.
He will also be keen to add to his record of 93 goals for Portugal, the second highest international tally ever.
Only Iran striker Ali Daei is ahead of Ronaldo, with 109 goals to his name, and Daei thinks the Portuguese forward will one day overtake him.
“I’ve no doubt about it, he’ll break my record,” Daei has previously told MARCA.