Sporting CP are considering bestowing a huge honour on their former player Cristiano Ronaldo, by renaming their stadium after him. Ronaldo came through the youth system at the Lisbon club, making 31 first team appearances for them in the 2002-03 season.
Sporting’s Estadio Jose Alvalade was only built in 2003 and Ronaldo never played a competitive match in it, but his performance in the first friendly in the new ground had a huge impact on his career. It was this match between Sporting and Manchester United that encouraged the English side to sign the Portuguese wonderkid, and the rest is history.
Now, according to Portuguese publication O Jogo, Sporting are looking to rename their ground and are considering ‘Estadio Jose Alvalade CR7’ as one of the options. The club are reportedly keen to keep a close association with the Cristiano Ronaldo brand and believe the renaming would increase their marketability in Asia and the Middle East.
No decision has yet been taken on the future name of the stadium, with other options under discussion, with the process described as at the embryonic stage.
It is not a common practice to rename stadiums in Portugal for commercial reasons, but Sporting are considering going against the grain given their connection to one of the world’s greatest ever players.