Freelance football reporter, columnist and journalist with extensive experience writing for a wide range of top level digital platforms and printed publications. In October, he reached the final of the China Open , guaranteeing he would be back to the No. For other Brazilian footballers of the same name, see Ronaldo. Retrieved 8 November Retrieved 18 September He won 6 singles tournaments at this level, including 5 on clay and 1 on hard courts. With him, it was a different story.
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But the third goal was impressive for all of us. All he had to do was to score that goal but he passed it to me and I scored the third goal, so I got that spot and went to the academy. After the match, I went to him and asked him why? Albert said, 'Because you are better than me'. What is true is that Ronaldo went on to become one of the greatest footballers of all time, and Fantrau was lost to the game.
However, he allegedly came to prominence once Ronaldo had told the story, and inevitably the press and media tracked him down for his take on the tale. The documented history of Ronaldo's formative years confirms that he initially played for his local amateur team Andorinha between and , and then spent two years at Nacional. He joined Sporting in at the age of 12 following a successful three-day trial.
He made his senior debut for Sporting in October , and sufficiently impressed against Manchester United in August to make the move to Old Trafford. The rest is history. The story doesn't confirm which club the scout was representing or the age of Ronaldo and Fantrau at the time. One quote attributes the event to an Under championship, but given that Ronaldo was playing senior football with Sporting at the age of 17, that only adds weight to the argument that the story is nothing more than fanciful football mythology.
The role of the scout in the story should also be analysed. Some theorists on the story correctly question why he or she would sign a player purely on his goal return in a single game. However, if this story was true, it is more likely to be that they had already watched Ronaldo and Fantrau and were torn between the two. This was their last opportunity to impress and for one of them to push themselves above the other.
Ronaldo may have scored two goals to Fantrau's one that day, but there would have been more than enough previous research to appreciate how talented he was before rewarding him with a place. Was Fantrau ever really in contention? He never made a career as a professional player, so it is clear that his talent was far less than that of his team mate. Was Fantrau merely a competitive decoy to push the Portuguese in order to see how he performed under that type of pressure?
In reality, it is more likely that none of the above is true. There is no doubt that scouts would have watched Ronaldo from a young age and many clubs would have been aware of his potential talent. Certain words would have been said to him and his family by various scouts and club representatives before he signed for Sporting, and the passage of time inevitably distorts situations and sentences when they are repeated back years later.
And that is the reason why the story belongs in football mythology. Yes, Ronaldo and Fantrau may well have played together as kids, they would have had scouts watching their games, and their performances when being watched would have decided Ronaldo's future as he progressed and developed as a talented young player.
The basics of the story inevitably exist, but the romance of it does not. We all have celebrity stories and experiences that we can reflect upon and tell.
However, when we think back to such moments, we only remember small parts of them, and then fill in the blanks. Repeatedly telling a story adds to the distortion, with special emphasis on the moments we want to remember, and an avoidance of the parts that we want to forget.