Years later, when the newest generation of Football fans dip into the annals of the Beautiful Game, they’ll find a few names emblazoned in Gold sitting right beside the preface.
2 or so Argentinians, numerous Brazilians, and several other European icons, all alongside one stand-out Portuguese hailing from Madeira, for whom scoring goals was second-nature.
Cristiano Ronaldo‘s name is beyond eternal, not just as a footballing superstar, but also as a top-tier athlete.
From the ‘Trembling Teenager of touch and tease’, to the cultural phenomenon, we’re used to now, the journey has been nothing short of a fairy-tale.
Cramming CR7’s chronicles together would read like an opus, so we’ll let his phenomenal figures paint the picture.
800+ career goals, 60 hat-tricks, 5 Ballon d’Or, 5 UCLs, and 20 years at the very top.
Unfortunately, the stats cast a veil over who the 37-year-old innately is, a human being.
The frankly ridiculous levels Ronaldo has exhibited throughout his storied career have only increased the burden on his shoulders.
A slight dip in form, a rough patch, a missed chance, and fans willingly draw the curtain on his career.
Coping with such immense pressure could reduce many to shudders, yet the forward is just supposed to soldier on.
Coming to terms with the pitfalls of ageing, and slowly realizing that your body is catching rust can be heavy for any individual, let alone an athlete hardwired to be the best.
Factor in the loss of something much deeper than whatever transpires on the pitch, and it’s easy to surmise that Ronaldo is possibly in a spot of bother.
All the rumours and discussions culminated in a post from the man himself, featuring clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, the image lacked a caption yet managed to say a lot.
Ronaldo had finally reached out.
For those uninitiated, the man tasked with handling his thoughts is quite the celebrity, and when he isn’t moonlighting as a propagandist, he practices psychology.
During a recent interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Peterson shed some light on his visit to Ronaldo’s home, and it was eye-opening, to say the least.
He said, “He’d had some trouble in his life a few months ago and a friend of his sent him some of my videos and he said he’d watched those. Then he read one of my books and found it helpful. He wanted to talk. I went out to his house and we talked for about two hours. He showed me all his equipment for staying in tip-top condition, and we talked about his companies. Mostly we talked about what he wanted in the future and some of the obstacles that he’s facing.”
By the looks of it, the Manchester United man may have found a guru in Peterson, something which was affirmed after Morgan likened the psychologist to ‘Ted Lasso’.
Based on the details shared by Peterson, Ronaldo seems to be looking forward, and to life beyond Football.
He mentioned Ronaldo’s ‘companies’, and termed the conversation to be ‘strategic’ in nature, which indicates that CR7 is eyeing up a new venture.
The Portuguese has already set up an impressive business empire with multiple successful companies.
His moves so far have been very well calculated, as the avenues he has picked show great potential for expansion.
A prime example is Pestana CR7, a chain of lifestyle hotels.
Started in collaboration with Dionisio Pestana, the chain’s first CR7-branded hotel was introduced in Madrid last year, and within a year, 4 others (Times Square, Lisboa, Marrakech, Funchal) have opened up alongside it.
Aside from hospitality, Ronaldo has another joint venture in the fitness industry, along with US-based Crunch Fitness.
Founded back in 2016, ‘CR7 Fitness’ has spawned many branches spread all across Portugal, with Ronaldo as the ambassador of course.
His knack for partnerships doesn’t end here, as he also owns a 50% stake in Insparya Madrid, his very own hair transplant clinic.
And then there is the crown jewel of his corporate empire, ‘CR7 Underwear’.
Yes, you may have seen the memes, but in all fairness, the venture has seen plenty of success, which eventually led to the launch of ‘CR7 Fragrances.’
Lifestyles brands aren’t the only ventures in Ronaldo’s portfolio, as he also made a significant investment in Tech, namely ‘7EGEND’.
Targeted at providing digital solutions and strategies for the sports industry, the startup can boast of having some high-profile clients in FC Porto, Valencia, Footlab etc.
His foray into business has evidently brought success, yet there are still plenty of roads he could traverse, especially when compared to the ventures of his contemporaries.
Take David Beckham for instance, who is the proud owner of MLS club Inter Miami, or Gerard Pique, the president of Kosmos Global Holdings, a media investment company.
Then there’s a business entirely off-the-rails, a bioscience company named GF Biochemicals, owned by former Arsenal player Mathieu Flamini.
Aside from these vastly different fields, there’s always the option of staying close to the game and taking up punditry.
Seeing Ronaldo reunite with Roy Keane and Gary Nevile on Sky Sports would be frankly brilliant, although it’s unlikely to happen.
Safe to say, there are plenty of directions for Ronaldo to head toward, and maybe this is where Peterson comes in.
The ‘strategic conversion’ possibly involved getting a bit of fresh perspective and helping Ronaldo sort his future goals.
What’s next for the man who’s accomplished Football?
Well, time will tell.
However, it certainly seems like Peterson will have a significant part in it, at least psychologically.