Cristiano Ronaldo, the talismanic Portuguese before becoming the superstar that he is today, was a lanky boy from Madeira who broke into the Sporting CP set-up at an early age of 17 after impressing the club bosses with his displays at the age-group football. Ronaldo became the first player to play for the club's under-16, under-17 and under-18 teams, the B team, and the first team, all within a single season.
The subsequent year, the 17-year-old was handed his first-team debut on 7 October 2002, in the Primeira Liga, against Moreirense and Ronaldo made sure that it was nothing short of remarkable as he scored two goals to solidify the 3-0 win against Moreirense.
The dream start. 33 minutes into his @SportingCP_en debut, a 17-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first of god knows how many. Few, if any, would have predicted what would happen next. Happy 36th, @Cristiano.pic.twitter.com/3qz8zuI0qW — The Blizzard (@blzzrd) February 5, 2021
His first goal showed glimpses of what the young boy had in his lockers. A stunning run from the halfway-line, went past a couple of defenders, with his now trademark step-overs made some space on the edge of the penalty area, before launching a powerful right-footed strike into the back of the net.
After the goal, Ronaldo ran towards the supporters to celebrate his first senior goal, taking off his shirt and waving it around his head as Sporting's then-coach Laszlo Boloni shared a laugh with his support staff.
Ronaldo added another before the final whistle, with a header two minutes into second-half stoppage time. Since then he has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus and has won numerous club and personal honours. He has five Ballon d'Ors, two FIFA Best Men's Players award, three UEFA Best Player of the Year awards to his name.
Ronaldo has also won five UEFA Champions League titles, two La Liga titles, three English Premier League titles, two Serie A titles to name a few. He has also led Portugal to a Euro title.
Right now this supremely talented footballer from Madeira, Portugal is the highest goalscorer in the world with 760 career goals.