The former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker has bought the Brazilian club for a reported $70 million with his own money.
The “boyhood club meaning” is a term that refers to the team you were born in. For example, if you are Brazilian and play for Cruzeiro, that would be your boyhood club.
Ronaldo, the World Cup champion and Brazilian superstar, has invested in his childhood club Cruzeiro. Getty Images/David S. Bustamante/Soccrates
Ronaldo, the retired Real Madrid and Brazil striker, has purchased a majority share in Cruzeiro, his old club, the player and the club announced on Saturday.
With the support of Brazilian investment bank XP, Ronaldo, who played for Cruzeiro as a youth in the early 1990s before going on to become one of the most successful centre forwards in football history, completed the transaction.
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The 45-year-old will spend 400 million reais ($70 million) in the Belo Horizonte team, which has spent two years in Brazil’s second division. The deal was done via Ronaldo’s Tara Sports firm and is still subject to “a number of criteria,” according to the bank.
“I am extremely glad to have completed this surgery,” Ronaldo said in a video uploaded by Cruzeiro’s president, adding that he wants to “give back to Cruzeiro and lead them where they deserve to be,” while clutching one of the club’s blue jerseys.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us. There’s nothing to celebrate just yet, but we’re bringing a lot of hard work and the desire to return Cruzeiro to its former glory.”
He posted on Instagram on Sunday: “It’s now my time to attempt to help the team by opening doors. As a hero, no. Not with abilities to modify reality on their own. But it comes with a great deal of responsibility. For medium- and long-term development, with wise and sustainable management.”
In an open letter to supporters, he stated, “I don’t have all the answers to the questions that I ask myself, and I probably won’t have all the answers to the questions that you will ask me.”
“What I do know is that the youngster at Cruzeiro who learned that dreams may come true today gives me hope that the club can be rescued from its dilemma.”
The former PSV Eindhoven, Internazionale, AC Milan, Barcelona, and Corinthians striker is making his second journey into management. In 2018, Ronaldo purchased a 51 percent ownership in Real Valladolid, a Spanish team.
He and Cruzeiro did not disclose any specifics, but XP stated in a statement that it “seeks to assist the Brazilian football business with professionalization, capitalization, and exposing new chances.”
Ronaldo revealed the agreement with a blue heart and a fox, the Cruzeiro emblem, on Twitter.
Cruzeiro also reminded the crowd that they were “phenomenal,” an allusion to Ronaldo’s player moniker, “Ronaldo Fenomeno.”
The agreement comes only months after the Brazilian Congress passed legislation enabling football teams, which have traditionally been fan-owned and closed to outside investment, to become companies.
“This is the first transaction on a significant new front for the investment banking sector in Brazil, the football-mad country,” said Jose Berenguer, CEO of Banco XP.
“This is without a doubt a watershed moment in Brazilian sports history. We will have more powerful clubs with the ability to invest globally. Football in Brazil will never be the same again.”
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