Sporting CP are considering renaming their Estádio José Alvalade after former player Cristiano Ronaldo, with the club’s president admitting that the change of moniker to honour the five-time Ballon d’Or winner would be a ‘source of pride’.
The club’s home is currently named after founder Jose Alvalade, and has been by that name since 1956.
Ronaldo, who recently notched his 699th career goal at the stadium as Portugal ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Luxembourg in Euro 2020 qualifying, spent five seasons in the youth system at Sporting CP before joining Manchester United in 2003.
The 34-year-old is considered something of a legend at the club, despite his short spell ending while still in his teenage years.
Sporting president, Frederico Varandas, told Tuttosport that the Estadio Jose Alvalade could be renamed after their former star.
“Calling the stadium ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ is an option that, right now, we are not against,” Varandas explained.
“It would be a source of great pride for us. Cristiano Ronaldo is and always will be one of the great symbols in the club’s history. We are very proud to be associated with Cristiano and that the name of the best player of the world is associated with Sporting.
“We’re already keeping his values on the walls of the youth academy, focusing on passion, sacrifice, discipline, leadership and determination. Cristiano is certainly the best Portuguese player of all time and one of the best athletes in the history of the sport.”
Estadio Jose Alvalade was rebuilt at the beginning of 2000, as the club expanded its capacity to over 50,000 spectators. The first match played at the restructured stadium was Sporting’s famous 3-1 win over United, the very game that prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to bring Ronaldo to the Premier League.
As discussed in the interview with Tuttosport, the name ‘CR7 Arena’ (using the player’s brand name) is also under consideration, while another options blends the past with the present, as ‘José Alvalade CR7’ with also touted.
It is unclear from Varandas’ whether the hypothetical name change would be as a form of sponsorship from Ronaldo’s business interests or purely as a way to honour the former player.