If you can’t beat them, join them. Or, perhaps more appropriately in this case, if you can’t beat him, sign him.
That’s the logic Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United used when they came across Portuguese wonderkid Cristiano Ronaldo in a preseason match against Sporting Lisbon.
It’s hard to say that Manchester United truly “discovered” Ronaldo. He’d been with Sporting’s legendary Lisbon based academy for six years before that match against Manchester United. Chapters 1 and 2 of Nike’s CR7 line cover Ronaldo’s childhood home on the island of Madeira and his relocation to Portugal’s elite professional club, and with Chapter 3, Nike delves into the moment when everything changed.
In that friendly against Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo displayed pace and trickery, power and bravery. He ran John O’Shea ragged (at the time that counted for something), and he left the defending Premier League Champions chasing his shadow all night. The legend goes that such was the impression made by the youngster named after President Ronald Reagan that at halftime, the United players famously urged Sir Alex to sign Ronaldo before they left the stadium, threatening not to return to England without a signature.
“From the moment we set eyes on him in Sporting Lisbon when we played against them in a friendly, we all came off saying, ‘wow, we need to get this player, he’s a fantastic player’.” – Rio Ferdinand
Nike’s CR7 Chapter 3: Discovery draws inspiration from the moment that Cristiano announced himself to Manchester United, and changed the course of his career, catapulting the boy from Madeira onto the world’s most elite stage. The color scheme of the cleats was inspired by the team he was playing for, amplified in a modern way. The lateral side features silver graphics, and a subtle reflective wave design as a tip of the cap to the Mercurial Vapor I boots worn by Ronaldo in 2003. The numbers 06, 08 and 03 (day, month, year) etched on the heel counter commemorate the date of his discovery, while a sparkling CR7 logo reflects the shining performance on that day.
“This game changed my career forever. Just 10 days after the match, I was already playing in England with my new team, embracing new challenges” – Cristiano Ronaldo
The CR7 Chapter 3 Discovery line will be available from soccerloco.com starting 11/10/16