Real Madrid will face Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League tonight
The city of Lisbon is awash with bunting and commemorative images to mark the long anticipated return of Cristiana Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid striker will return to Sporting Lisbon for just the second time this week, since he transferred to Manchester United in 2003. And it seems the city has become a shrine to their hero.
Speaking to Sky Sports recently about the Champions League meeting in Lisbon tonight, Ronaldo said:
"It's always special to be back. I remember going back to Old Trafford two or three years ago and now to go back to Sporting Lisbon, who was the team who created me from 11 to 18 years old."
"It's always a pleasure to be back and see my old stadium and my old friends. It will be amazing, but of course I have to defend my colours and I want to win the game. We need to win, too."
To honour his club, it's rumoured that Ronaldo will wear a pair of custom-made boots for the clash which will display the date of his performance against Man United which subsequently led to his transfer to the Premier League.
According to Mark Ogden of ESPN, Ronaldo’s image and legacy has been splashed across numerous platforms, including the front page of Portugal’s daily sports newspaper Record. The Pestena CR7 Hotel is also gearing up for Ronaldo’s return with quotes from the player displayed above the check-in, while the elevator music is one of Ronaldo’s chants from his Man United days.
Additionally, Jorge Jesus , the Sporting Lisbon coach, has admitted that seeing Ronaldo return to play for the club would be a ‘dream,’ which illustrates the respect held for the Portuguese captain.