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con Cristiano en Madeira

May 12, 2012

Football player tourism… I think there’s a good business opportunity there.  After all, our boys hail from some beautiful places, Madrid, Sevilla and Donostia are some of them in Spain, and outside of Spain, there is Lyon, Rio de Janeiro, Stuttgart… Along these lines, El Mundo’s travel site, Ocho Leguas, recently published an article about visiting Cristiano Ronaldo’s Madeira, where he was born and raised.  Wouldn’t it be great to be a travel writer, going to the places where our boys are from, and writing about their origins, as well as what there is to see and do there?  That would be a fantastic job, no?

Among the sights to see in Funchal, the capital, is the CR7 store, located in the Ajuda neighborhood.  It sells clothes and accessories for men, women and children inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo, which of course means things covered in the CR7 logo.  Cris’ sister Elma designs all of the articles, and the most successful line is that for women.  A ring costs €20, a pair of initial earrings costs €22, while a (horrific) belt with a huge CR7 buckle goes for €58.  There’s also an online store, in case you can’t make it to Funchal.

The family house, in a minimalist style, is located in the San Gonzalo neighborhood, with views of the sea, and it’s not rare to see the rest of the family – mamá Dolores and her other children, Elma, Hugo and Catia – there.  The house includes a huge terrace, and residents say they have seen Cristiano and Irina sunbathing there on more than one occasion.  There’s also a huge television where Dolores watches her son’s games.

The neighborhood of Santo Antonio is where Cris was born and raised, until he went off to Lisbon at the age of 11.  When he was young, he would apparently sneak out via the window of his house to go play with his cousin Nuno.  His childhood home is no longer there, because Madeira’s president, Alberto João Jardim, got tired of so many locals and tourists going to the Quinta do Falçao street to take pictures of it and so he ordered that it be torn down.  Cris was baptized in February 1985 at the Santo Antonio church.  Cris’ coach with his first team, Andorinha, Francisco Afonso, says that Cris is “very loved here because he’s never renounced his origins and he always tries to help, such as during the flooding two years ago.”  He also reveals that Cris’ nickname was “little bee” because he never stopped moving on the field.  Cris’ father, Dinis Aveiro, was an equipment manager at Andorinha.  He almost missed his son’s baptism because on that day, he had to accompany the captain of the team (and Cris’ godfather) Fernão Barros to a game on the other side of Funchal.  In the end, they both made it.  Fernão used to give Cris little cars as gifts, but Cristiano only had eyes for balls, which he collected in all shapes and colors.

In the billiards hall Quinta Falçao, there is a signed Manchester United jersey.  The owner of the bar, Joel Santos, played against Cristiano when he was at Marítimo and Cris at Sporting.  He says the last time Cris stopped by was last summer: “he came with Irina and they played darts and pool.”  She asked for an ice cream, and he asked for water.

And there is also an exhibit with Cristiano at the Madeira Story Centre, a museum speaking about the history of the island.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. AJ Nelson permalink
    May 14, 2012 01:19

    Hmmmm…you may have given me a new idea for my overseas travels in the fall! 🙂

  2. May 14, 2012 06:52

    Cris I love you baby, but your fashion sense is something else. 🙂

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