Cristiano Ronaldo At 37: Nacional Madeira Celebrates His 25-year Anniversary

Cristiano Ronaldo’s legacy in Madeira

As Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his 37th birthday on May 5th, the island of Madeira still feels the impact of the football legend’s presence. From the moment you arrive, it is impossible to ignore Ronaldo’s influence on the island.

A night view of Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira Airport sign in Santa Cruz. In 2016, it was announced that the airport would be renamed Madeira Airport ... Cristiano Ronaldo (Aeroporto da Madeira ... Cristiano Ronaldo) in honour of Madeira native football player Cristiano Ronaldo..On Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal.

The airport is named after him, and a bust of him stands outside. Even a quarter of a century after he left for Lisbon, he remains a source of inspiration for young footballers on the island.

Cristiano Ronaldo's mocked-up membership card inside the club shop at CD Nacional

While Ronaldo is now a Manchester United player, and Real Madrid’s record goalscorer, his story began in Madeira. The museum on the marina in Funchal, the island’s capital, showcases his journey from his early days playing for amateur side Andorinha to Nacional, one of Madeira’s biggest clubs, before his professional debut at Sporting.

Cristiano Ronaldo sign outside the training ground at CD Nacional

The museum is an odd juxtaposition of his global story with letters from children all around the world, and his local one, with trinkets from his glory days at Manchester United interspersed with trophies won in minor tournaments as a small boy growing up in Madeira.

The connection between Ronaldo and the island of Madeira is a marketing gift, and it is clear that he remains an inspiration for the young players who aspire to achieve success.

People pass in front of Cristiano Ronaldo mural 'We're Champions' in Funchal on the island of Madeira, where Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo grew up and played for amateur team Andorinha from 1992 to 1995. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal.

However, it is difficult for young players in Madeira to aspire to professional football, given the limited opportunities for visibility. While there is plenty of talent on the island, players have to leave to succeed, as Ronaldo did.

Despite Ronaldo’s success, some on the island wonder whether he could do more for Madeira. Nevertheless, his legacy looms large even in his absence, and he still has ties to the island, returning for festivities and to see his family.

A young boy wearing C.Ronaldo jersey passes trough the neighbourhood where Cristiano Ronaldo and his family used to live, Quinta Falcao, a part of Santo Antonio (English: Saint Anthony), a parish in the northeastern part of Funchal on the island of Madeira..Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo's talent was first revealed in the CF Andorinha, a little club of his native island of Madeira, where pictures of this gifted kid, who became inspiration, are today displayed everywhere.

Ronaldo’s story is not just about his own success, but also about the impact that one individual can have on their community and how their legacy can inspire future generations.


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