Cristiano Ronaldo‘s mother, Dolores Aveiro, has said her biggest desire before she dies is for her son to return and play for Sporting Lisbon.
If that cannot happen, 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.
There was speculation earlier this year that Portugal captain Ronaldo would return to Sporting, where he began his professional career, but he instead joined Manchester United for the second time in his career.
“Ronaldo has to come back here,” Aveiro, a big Sporting Lisbon fan, said in a podcast. “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, Cristiano Jr. is at Manchester United’s academy, having previously played at Juventus‘ academy.
“At his age, he plays better than Ronaldo,” the proud grandmother 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 then joked: “Today the number 7 jersey [at Sporting] is [Brazilian attacking midfielder] Tabata, but when Ronaldo comes it will be his!”
Ronaldo, 36, signed a two-year contract at Manchester United, with an option of extending it for a further season.
Though her dream has yet to materialise, Dolores Aveiro says she is nevertheless delighted that her son chose to return to United and not join city rivals Manchester 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.”
The former Real Madrid star wrote about his return to United: “I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again!”
His mother was in attendance and said of the experience: “To see the stadium full, with 75,000 people singing his name was a great emotion.”