Cristiano Ronaldo set to make 1,000th senior appearance of his illustrious career when Juventus travel to SPAL… 18 years after superstar made debut as a fresh-faced teenager in Champions League for Sporting Lisbon
- Cristiano Ronaldo may make his 1,000th senior career appearance against SPAL
- The superstar could reach the milestone in Juventus’ clash against the strugglers
- Ronaldo has played 835 games for clubs and featured 164 times internationally
- The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s trophy-laden career began at Sporting Lisbon
- The Portugal captain first emerged into the limelight as a teenager back in 2002
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner may make his 1,000th professional appearance against the Serie A strugglers.
Ronaldo has played 835 games in club football and featured 164 times on the international stage, and is set to achieve the impressive figure as Juventus continue their bid for domestic glory.
Cristiano Ronaldo could make his 1,000th professional career appearance at SPAL on Saturday
The Portuguese superstar first emerged into the limelight as a fresh-faced teenager in 2002
The Portuguese superstar first emerged into the limelight as a fresh-faced teenager, donned in a Sporting Lisbon jersey, in 2002.
The then 17-year-old had been promoted from Sporting’s youth team by first-team manager Laszlo Boloni, who was starstruck by Ronaldo’s unparalleled dribbling abilities.
Ronaldo’s debut came when the youngster was introduced off the bench in the Champions League third qualifying round first-leg tie against Inter Milan, but was unable to make an impact with the clash finishing goalless.
The 17-year-old was promoted from Sporting’s youth team by first-team manager Laszlo Boloni
That evening marked the first time a global icon took to the field as a professional – with Ronaldo replacing Tonito with an hour played before embarking on a couple of mazy dribbles down the right flank.
Sporting lost the second leg 2-0, however, and crashed out of the competition.
Ronaldo had failed to feature at the San Siro, but made a significant impression for his homeland club during the campaign.
His first goals on the biggest stage were truly remarkable, with Ronaldo rounding off his appearance against Moreirense with a superb brace.
And the electric winger would infamously soon catch the eye of several of Europe’s greatest sides.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola marked the occasion with a front-page collage of Ronaldo’s most memorable moments for both club and country, with Tuttosport also prominently featuring the achievement.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola celebrated the potential milestone with a front-page collage
Tuttosport also highlighted the superb…