Cristiano Ronaldo is an inspiration to young fans all around the world.
Regardless of where you might think the Manchester United star ranks against Lionel Messi, there’s no denying that his remarkable work ethic is a brilliant template for aspiring footballers.
Yes, you’ve got to have an element of talent and luck on your side, but the example of Ronaldo putting in the extra yards and arriving first at training really is invaluable in chasing success.
Ronaldo appears at Q&A
As such, there are countless cases of where the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has gone out of his way and took the time to share special moments with youngsters who look up to him.
Whether that’s through his brilliant charity work or simply high-fiving a mascot, you really get the feeling that the 36-year-old is aware of the massive impact he has on young football fans.
And that was most certainly apparent in 2014 when Ronaldo came to the defence of a Japanese boy who spoke to him in Portuguese during a Q&A event for the then Real Madrid star.
You could see that the young supporter was working hard to ensure that he said the question correctly and Ronaldo was clearly very impressed as he waited to see what would be asked.
Ronaldo stands up for young fan
However, some members of the crowd were not so polite with the odd giggle and laugh being heard as the boy worked his way through the Portuguese, prompting Ronaldo to address the situation.
And in a truly heart-warming moment, Ronaldo was keen to remark: “Why are they smiling? Why? He speaks Portuguese well, very well. They should be happy because he is trying so hard.”
Then, with the young fan having asked what we should do to achieve his dream of becoming a football player one day, Ronaldo responded: “Belief, effort, and never missing your chance.”
Inspiration for the boy’s football career
It’s a beautiful exchange that clearly meant a lot to the boy in question, Ryota Iwaoka, because he has gone on to take the advice on board by enjoying his own success in the beautiful game.
Marca reported in 2021 that he had directly referenced Ronaldo’s advice after winning his high school football tournament by saying: “Cristiano’s advice has always been on my mind.”
So, while Iwaoka’s dreams of sharing the pitch with Ronaldo might seem unlikely all these years down the line, there’s no denying that their heart-warming chat has still inspired him to succeed.