In more than one way, Ronaldo is extremely indebted to Sporting for making him the superstar he is today.
At a time when many doubted his ability and mocked his physicality, the Portuguese club gave him a platform to prove his ability.
Ronaldo joined Sporting as a 12-year-old in 1997 and slowly, but surely moved up their system.
He made his debut for the Portuguese senior side in 2002, but it wasn’t until that famous friendly game against Manchester United in August 2003 that he really broke through the system.
Ronaldo’s heroics in that friendly convinced not only Sir Alex Ferguson, but the United players to sign him.
The rest, as they say, is history.
It’s been 20 years since Ronaldo had his breakthrough in that friendly game, and in honor of the match’s 20th anniversary, Sporting have created a new kit honoring their icon.
Sporting launch new Cristiano Ronaldo tribute kit
Indeed, Sporting recently unveiled a very unique version of their third kit for the 2023/24 season.
In association with Nike, the brand which Ronaldo has represented for many years, Sporting revealed their newest kit to the fans on 6 August 2023, twenty years after that United friendly.
In their official description of the kit, the club wrote: “Travel back in time with us to 2003. It’s the 6th of August. Imagine you are at the grand opening of the new Estádio José Alvalade. The referee is about to kick off the match against Manchester United FC…
“We’ve returned to this moment, recaptured the best of this day and the best of what is Made In Sporting. We now invite you to go back to the future, 20 years ahead and five Ballon d’Or awards later. It’s the 6th of August 2023. It’s our home’s anniversary, and we have prepared a very special gift for you.
“Introducing our new Lion Skin, inspired by the kit used in 2003, celebrating the 20 years of Estádio José Alvalade’s existence.A unique jersey that completes a virtuous triangle between Sporting CP, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Nike.”
The kit in question is a regal kit with a black torso with golden sleeves. The club badge is designed in a gold and white thread, while there are white trims around the cuffs too.
However, the most notable addition and ultimate tribute from Nike was to replace their logo with the ‘CR7’ logo in the body of the kit.
It’s actually not the t-shirt itself that is designed in tribute to Ronaldo. The kit is coupled with black shorts with a slick golden thread designed around the side of the shorts. The ‘CR7’ logo is visible on the shorts as well as the black socks that complete the jersey.
How much does the kit and all its add-ons cost?
Nike has even created a pre-match jacket to go perfectly with this kit for the Sporting players. The jacket is also designed in a slick black colour with the CR7 logo in golden as well as the club crest being visible in it.
This entire wear could be the dream of many Cristiano Ronaldo fans. With that being said, it’s definitely not the cheapest attire either.
The 23/24 Sporting third kit t-shirt is priced at around €95 (£81), and €85 (£73) or socio (club members). There is even a version of the kit without the ‘Betano’ logo which is cheaper at around €75 (£64.5).
The shorts are priced at €45 (£38), while the socks are also priced at €20 (£17). The club jacket is also a pretty expensive one, priced at €90 (£77).
As a result, for anyone looking to buy this entire thing including the shorts, socks and jacket – they’d need to dish out €250 (£215.5) for the entire thing!
But considering their impressive unveiling of the kit and how attractive it looks in general, Nike can probably expect to make a lot of money from the Sporting 23/24 third kit – which will sell well not only among their fans but supporters from all over the globe.