Dolores Aveiro, the mother of Cristiano Ronaldo, has said her biggest dream before she dies is for her son to return to where his career started and play for Sporting Lisbon.
If that proves to be impossible, then she would settle for her grandson, Cristiano Jr. playing for Sporting, who became Portuguese champions last season for the first time in 19 years.
Ronaldo made a sensational return to Manchester United this summer, so any plans to return to Sporting have been put on the backfoot. There are not many players who could cope with the Premier League at 36, but Ronaldo is having no problems with 3 goals in 2 league matches.
“Ronaldo has to come back here,” Aveiro said on a podcast, as quoted by ESPN. “If it were my choice, he would already be here. He likes to watch Sporting games. I’ve already told him: ‘Son, before I die, I want to see you return to Sporting’. He says: ‘Let’s see’: But if it can’t be him, then Cristianinho!”
Ronaldo’s eldest son has already been signed up to the Manchester United academy, having previously played for the younger teams at Juventus.
“At his age, he plays better than Ronaldo,” she said of her 11-year-old grandson. “At that age, Ronaldo didn’t have a coach but today Ronaldo is his son’s teacher. He’s already saying ‘Dad, when we move to Lisbon I want to play for Sporting’. Now he’s starting out at Manchester [United]. Seeing the two of them together at Sporting was my dream, it would be spectacular.”
She jokingly added: “Today the number 7 jersey [at Sporting] is [Brazilian attacking midfielder] Tabata, but when Ronaldo comes it will be his!”
Ronaldo’s focus will be on United, though, after signing a two-year contract at the club, with an option of extending it for a further season.
His mother was also delighted that he chose Manchester United over City.
“On the TV there was talk of Manchester City, but he said to me ‘Mom, don’t worry about what they’re saying because I’m going to Manchester [United],” she said. “I said I liked that a lot and he pleased me.”
After attending her son’s homecoming at Old Trafford, she was blown away by the experience: “To see the stadium full, with 75,000 people singing his name was a great emotion.”