Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas is open to giving a very high honor to his club’s brightest products.
Ronaldo scored five times in 30 matches for Sporting, having joined the club in 1997 and made his league debut for the club in 2002 before transfering to Manchester United in 2003. He’s now at Juventus.
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He’s since become one of the greatest players in the history of the game, winning five Ballon d’Or awards and helping Portugal to its first two European tournament wins.
Now one goal away from 700 for club and country, his name is moving toward another major mile marker, according to Marca:
The Portuguese side are looking for ways to deposit money and selling the name of the stadium is a viable option, so allowing the ‘CR7’ brand to buy the stadium’s naming rights would not only bring in funds but it would enable them to still honor the greatest player they have ever produced.
It’s a little gross, though the purchase would obviously drive some business for Sporting Lisbon and is cosmetically more appealing than Giant Portuguese Bank Stadium. Over time, sadly, the honor would look the same as the Netherlands’ renaming its stadium after Johan Cruyff. Or it could look like the Jordan Brand buying the naming rights to the Dean Smith Center. Who knows?
“Calling the stadium ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ is an option that, right now, we are not against,” said club president Frederico Varandas. “It would be a source of great pride for us. … We are very proud to be associated with Cristiano and that the name of the best player of the world is associated with Sporting.”
Wait, Frederico, when did someone mention Lionel Messi?
The stadium is currently named Estádio José Alvalade for the man who founded the club in 1906.