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Ronaldo made his international debut 20 years ago, winning and with a goal

Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for the Portuguese national football team 20 years ago, in a particular under-15 with South Africa and, in an omen of what came to be his career, started winning and with a goal.

On February 24, 2001, Ronaldo, then a boy aged 16 and 19 days, wore for the first time the jersey of the formation of the ‘quinas’, in a match of the first round of the II edition of the International Football Tournament Cidade de Torres Novas and Rio Maior.

At the Municipal Stadium of Torres Novas, the now captain of the ‘AA’ team, at 36, was the starter and scored, in ‘above’ the break, at 40 minutes, the second goal of Portugal, which was ahead at 20, by Diogo Andrade.

Initial choice of Carlos Dinis, then national under-15 coach, the player who belonged to Sporting since 1997/98, after, still in Madeira, started at Andorinha and continued training at Nacional, played the 80 minutes.

After reaching the interval to win 2-0, the Portuguese side suffered a goal in the second half, at 58 minutes, the work of Romano Scott, which did not, however, prevent Cristiano Ronaldo’s winning debut in the Portuguese teams.

In that meeting, 15 players were used in the ‘quinas’ team, none of whom made it to the international ‘AA’ and only one managed to make a major career as a senior, midfielder Fernando Alexandre, already retired, at 35 years old.

Currently sporting director of Académica – with the role, as principal coach, since Rui Borges does not have the required level -, he served in the I League by Estrela da Amadora, Sporting de Braga, Leixões, Olhanense, Académica and Moreirense.

Besides, a series of names that did not make history, namely Christopher Pilar, Steven Rodrigues, André Carvalho, Filipe Duarte, Pedro Araújo, João Rodrigues’ Costinha ‘, Hugo Monteiro, Diogo Andrade, Ricardo Costa, Pedro Fernandes, Paulo Malheiro’ Ginho ‘, Luis Frangão and Fábio Ferreira.

Even so, they were at Ronaldo’s international baptism, as was the Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson, who was then 26 years old and now 46, having finished his career in 2018, after being in the 2014 World Cup and the 2012 and 2016 Europeans .

In 2013, he refereed the European Super Cup, between Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich and José Mourinho’s Chelsea, in a match that the Bavarians won on penalties (5-4) – Belgian Lukaku failed – after 2- 2 in the 120 minutes.

If Eriksson had a prominent career in refereeing, Cristiano Ronaldo has already entered history as one of the best ever, and, given the precociousness with which he reached the main team in Portugal, there were few games he played for the other national teams.

Before his debut as an international ‘AA’, on August 20, 2003 (1-0 against Kazakhstan, in a private match held in Chaves), at the age of 18, he played eight more games for the under-15s, seven for the under-17s, six in the under-21 and five in the under-20.

After playing for the national team, he also played four games in the under-21s and three in the Olympic team, two of them in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, which he played after having been a figure in the 2004 European Championship, played on Portuguese soil.

For the ‘AA’ formation, Cristiano Ronaldo has already played 170 games and scored 102 goals, two ‘absurd’ records, being that, in terms of goals, he is only seven of the world record of selections, held by Iranian Ali Daei (109) .

Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.

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