Unveiling 11 Renowned Figures from Portugal
Portugal is a small nation with a population of 10 million people. Similar to any country, it boasts its own national heroes, but the renown of a few has transcended its borders.
This phenomenon occurred in the 15th century with Vasco da Gama and persists into the 21st century with Cristiano Ronaldo. Let's acquaint ourselves with these 11 distinguished Portuguese figures.
Henry the Navigator
Henry was born as a Portuguese prince, the third son of King John I of Portugal. In 1414, his father assigned him the task of conquering Ceuta in Morocco to put an end to the continuous harassment of the Portuguese coast by Moorish pirates.
After successfully capturing the city, Henry uncovered the wealth that had accumulated in Ceuta through the trade routes of the Sahara.
Upon returning to Portugal in 1416, Henry established himself on the Sagres peninsula, where he devoted himself continuously to consolidating all the maritime knowledge of the era. The port of Lagos underwent a transformation into a shipbuilding center, complete with an observatory dedicated to refining the sails of caravels and advancing the art of navigation.
In 1420, Henry assumed the role of Governor of the Order of Christ, the Portuguese counterpart to the Order of the Temple (Templars), gaining access to essential financial resources. This marked the beginning of the great explorations, as Henry dispatched his initial fleet of ships.
In 1427, Diogo de Silves, one of its captains, discovered the Azores which were quickly colonized.
In 1434, Gil Eanes passed Cape Bodajor which was the furthest point known to Europeans on the African coast.
In 1444, Dinis Dias (father of Bartolomeu Dias) passed Cape Verde and crossed the southern limit of the desert thus bypassing the commercial routes held by the Muslims and offering direct access to slaves and gold from Mauritania.
Starting in 1452, significant quantities of gold began flowing through this maritime route, and the initial Portuguese cruzados, coined during this period, competed with Italian ducats, establishing themselves as an accepted currency in both the Christian and Muslim worlds.
In 1460, Henry passed away in Sagres without any descendants. Despite never personally embarking on any voyages or making discoveries, his legacy proved instrumental. Less than 30 years after his death, leveraging the advancements and techniques pioneered by Henry, Bartolomeu Dias successfully navigated the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco de Gama reached India, and Christopher Columbus, inspired by the Portuguese successes, discovered America.
Bartolomeu Dias, the son of Dinis Dias, who was one of the captains under Henry the Navigator and the first to navigate Cape Verde, started his career as a young man by studying mathematics and astronomy.
However, King John II of Portugal soon entrusted him with the significant task of leading explorations along the African coast. The objective was to establish a maritime route to India, as the traditional land routes were now controlled by the Turks following the capture of Constantinople.
In 1487, Bartolomeu Dias successfully navigated the coast of present-day Namibia, reaching the southernmost point documented on maps from previous expeditions. Continuing southward, he encountered a fierce storm that led to 13 days of aimless wandering in the Atlantic Ocean.
Utilizing the Antarctic winds and sailing northeast, Dias eventually reached the coastline 800 km east of the Cape of Good Hope, unwittingly passing it in the open sea. Intent on continuing his journey to India and the East, he informed the crews of his three ships. However, facing a revolt, the crews insisted on returning to Portugal via the western route. Consequently, Dias crossed the Cape of Good Hope from east to west.
Upon his return to Lisbon in 1488, deeply affected by the tumultuous 13 days in the Atlantic, he named the cape the "Cape of Storms." However, King John II later renamed it the "Cape of Good Hope," hopeful that this discovery would finally open a sea route to India.
In 1497, Bartolomeu Dias accompanied Vasco de Gama on his historic voyage to discover the sea route to the Indies. In 1500, he joined Pedro Alvares Cabral on the famous expedition that resulted in the Portuguese taking possession of Brazil.
Continuing his journey to India, Bartolomeu Dias faced yet another storm near the Cape of Good Hope in 1500 and tragically disappeared at sea.
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama was born into the Portuguese nobility in Sines. During his youth, he traveled to Évora to pursue studies in mathematics, astronomy, and navigation. In 1480, he became a member of the Order of Santiago, led by the future King of Portugal, John II of Portugal, alongside his father.
Vasco de Gama
In 1492, Vasco de Gama, on a mission from the King to Setúbal, took action against French ships anchored there as a reprisal for their transgressions in Portuguese waters.
In 1497, the king entrusted him with four ships and 200 men for the definitive establishment of the maritime route to the Indies. Gama sailed off the coast of Brazil and then followed the African coast, tracing the trading posts established by Bartolomeu Dias. Crossing the Cape of Good Hope, he landed in May 1498 on the shores of Kappad in India.
Although his voyage successfully established the connection to India, it proved to be a commercial failure. The Zamorin of Calicut, a City-State in India, denied him the commercial advantages he sought, leading to his departure three months later, taking hostages for his safety.
Despite the setbacks, upon his return, Gama was honored, recognized as the discoverer of the maritime route to India, and appointed Admiral of India by the King.
In 1502, he set sail from Portugal with a fleet of 20 ships laden with goods. This expedition turned violent with ship assaults, the murder of pilgrims en route to Mecca, and the bombardment of the port of Calicut. Despite these actions, the Zamorin of Calicut did not submit, the promised Christians in the Indies remained elusive, and the hope of finding the Kingdom of the Priest John faded.
This expedition marked the inception of the Portuguese colonial empire, leading to displeasure from King Manuel I, who condemned the nobility favoring mercantilism over the Christian mission. Vasco de Gama fell out of favor and endured a 20-year disgrace until the new King of Portugal, John III, appointed him Viceroy of the Indies. In 1524, he embarked on his third voyage but passed away shortly after his arrival.
Ferdinand Magellan was born in 1480 in Porto, into a family of the Portuguese nobility. In his early years, his father secured his admission to the court of Queen Eleanor of Viseu, where he received education in navigation and astronomy.
Appointed as a pensioner of the king's household on the fleet commanded by Francisco de Almeida, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Lisbon in 1505 bound for the Indies. He participated in various battles and engaged in the pepper trade before returning to Lisbon in 1513.
Shortly after, Magellan was dispatched to Morocco as part of the Portuguese troops assigned to capture Azemmour. Accused of illicit trade with the Moors and dissatisfied with the lack of recognition for his trade endeavors, he petitioned the Portuguese King to release him from his obligations.
Subsequently, he offered his services to the young King of Spain, Charles V, who was only 18 years old at the time. Magellan proposed to open the spice route from the West, providing a new trade route that wouldn't strain relations with the Portuguese neighbors sailing to the East.
A fleet of five ships was entrusted to Magellan, setting sail from Seville on August 10, 1519. The crews comprised Spaniards, as well as Portuguese, Italians, Greeks, and French. Of the 237 men in these crews, only 35 survived to complete the first circumnavigation of the globe.
The main events that take place during these 3 years of expedition are the following:
1519.08.15: The fleet of 5 ships and 237 men of crew leaves the port of Seville.
1519.12.13: After a brief stop in the Canary Islands, the fleet disembarked in the bay of Santa Lucia in Brazil, today known as Rio de Janeiro.
1520.03.31: In his attempt to bypass South America, surprised by the cold, Magellan decided to winter in Argentina in Puerto San Julián.
1520.04.01: Doubting the existence of a passage to the West and their chances of survival in the southern cold, part of the fleet mutinies. Magelan nevertheless kept control of the situation and after a few fights sentenced 40 sailors to death. The sentence was not carried out because it would have jeopardized the continuation of the voyage.
1520.05.03: Magellan decided to send one of his ships in recognition but the Santiago was wrecked. Three months later, Magellan decided to resume his route towards the south with the 4 remaining ships.
1520.10.21: Magellan saw a Cape which marked the entrance of a passage towards the West: the Cape of the Virgins. It will take him more than one month to cross this passage surrounded by cliffs.
1520.11.08: In the middle of the passage leading to the west, the pilot of the San Antonio rebelled against his Captain, dragged the crew into the mutiny, deserted and made his way to Seville carrying his cargo of food and goods.
1520.11.28: Magellan, at the head of the 3 remaining ships enters the Pacific Ocean. Magellan did not underestimate the immensity of this ocean, on the other hand, to his great surprise, it is empty. In fact, by lack of chance, he will never cross one of the numerous islands which are present there.
1521.03.06: After 4 months of navigation, reached by the scurvy, close to the famine, the 3 ships reach the Marianas where the crews can disembark and refuel after having been plundered by the natives come to their meeting.
1521.04.27: Magellan moved his 3 ships to the island of Cebu where the King willingly converted to Christianity with his people. His neighbor, the King of the island of Mactan refused to submit. Magellan then undertook an expedition during which he succumbed to a wound caused by a poisoned arrow.
1521.05.02: It is from now on Juan Sebastian Elcano who commands the expedition but only 113 men are still alive and valid what is insufficient to handle 3 ships. The commander then resigns himself to burn the Concepcion. The 2 other ships take the wide.
1521.11.08: The 2 ships landed on the shores of the Moluccan islands known to the Portuguese for more than 15 years. The ships were loaded with spices but only the Victoria left the anchorage. The Trinidad, victim of a leak, was forced to stay on site for repairs.
1521.09.06: Under the command of Elcano, the Victoria docked in Sanlucar de Barrameda in Spain after crossing the Indian Ocean and rounding the Cape of Good Hope. Only 18 men were on board, the stopovers in the Portuguese trading posts having taken their toll of prisoners.
The Victoria was the first ship to successfully complete a full circumnavigation of the globe, accomplishing this historic feat. However, despite this achievement, the expedition proved to be an economic disaster, yielding minimal political benefits. Consequently, the route to the Indies via the west was abandoned.
It wasn't until 58 years later, with the expedition led by Francis Drake, that a second circumnavigation of the globe was achieved, this time using the Strait of Magellan to reach the Pacific Ocean. It is worth noting that the political and economic outcomes of this second expedition were more favorable.
The satisfactory solution to the passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean awaited the construction of the Panama Canal, completed in 1914. This engineering marvel provided a more efficient and direct route for maritime trade and navigation between the two oceans.
Luis de Camões
Luís Vaz de Camões, a distinguished Portuguese poet, was born around 1525 and passed away in 1580 in Lisbon. Camões holds a revered place in Portuguese culture, and his legacy is so celebrated that the day of his death has been designated as the Portuguese national holiday.
Admirers of literature often draw comparisons between Camões and renowned figures like Virgil, Dante, or Shakespeare, highlighting his significant influence and impact on Portuguese literary heritage.
Luís Vaz de Camões' most renowned work is the national epic "Os Lusíadas" (The Lusiads), published in 1572. Through the epic tale of Vasco da Gama's journey to India, Camões leads readers on a collective voyage that reconnects with a past filled with glories, aiming to inspire future generations.
The narrative of adventure, discovery, and the embrace of knowledge, the world, and modernity prompts a profound reflection on the spirit of the Portuguese people. Camões poses questions that resonate through the verses: Who are the Portuguese? How can the Portuguese people be defined? Is there a historical mission for the Portuguese people? What sets them apart and makes them unique?
In exploring these themes, "Os Lusíadas" becomes more than a literary masterpiece; it transforms into a philosophical and introspective exploration of the Portuguese identity and their place in the historical narrative. The epic serves as a source of inspiration and contemplation, inviting readers to ponder the essence and destiny of the Portuguese people.
Undoubtedly, an esteemed national symbol, Luís Vaz de Camões is commemorated annually on June 10, the anniversary of his death, which is recognized as a public holiday in Portugal.
His legacy is further celebrated through numerous squares, streets, libraries, and theaters across the country that bear his name. This widespread recognition underscores the enduring impact and cultural significance of Camões in the hearts and minds of the Portuguese people, solidifying his place as a revered figure in the nation's history and literary heritage.
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa, a Portuguese writer, was born in 1888 and passed away in 1935 in Lisbon. Living during a tumultuous era marked by war and dictatorships, Pessoa emerged as a committed writer whose poetic prose played a pivotal role in initiating modernism in Portugal.
His innovative and influential contributions to literature continue to resonate, solidifying his position as a key figure in the cultural and literary landscape of Portugal.
In 1901, at the tender age of 13, Fernando Pessoa penned his first poems in English. Subsequently, in 1903, Pessoa found himself alone in South Africa and enrolled at the University of Cape Town. He returned to Portugal in 1905, briefly attending the Faculty of Letters before abandoning his studies to dedicate more time to reading and writing.
In 1912, Pessoa made his literary debut as both a critic and poet. By 1915, he assumed a leadership role in the "Orpheu" magazine, heading a group of influential poets that included some of the most renowned figures from Portugal and Brazil. "Orpheu" staunchly advocated for freedom of expression during a period of intense political and social instability in Portugal. Pessoa's involvement in the magazine marked a significant chapter in the cultural and literary landscape, showcasing his commitment to pushing artistic boundaries and challenging societal norms.
Indeed, "Orpheu" magazine served as a platform for Fernando Pessoa to publish poems that provoked strong reactions within the conservative society of the time. Two particular poems, "Triumphal Ode" and "Opiário," which he wrote under a pseudonym, stirred significant controversy and scandal.
The poems elicited violent reactions from the public, and Pessoa, as their author, found himself labeled as a lunatic by passersby on the streets. This underscores Pessoa's willingness to challenge societal norms and push the boundaries of expression, even at the cost of facing public disapproval and social ostracism.
In "Mensagem" (1934), Fernando Pessoa adopts a mystical nationalist perspective as he reinterprets "Os Lusíadas" by Luís Vaz de Camões. In this work, Pessoa advocates for the return of King D. Sebastião, who perished in Africa in 1578, envisioning his return as a means to restore Portugal and usher in the Fifth Empire.
Tragically, Fernando Pessoa passed away in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 30, 1935, succumbing to cirrhosis of the liver. His literary legacy endures, leaving an indelible mark on Portuguese literature and modernist thought.
José de Sousa Saramago was indeed a prominent Portuguese writer and journalist, born in 1922 and passing away in 2010. Notably, he is the only Portuguese-speaking author to have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, receiving the honor in 1998.
Saramago's novel "Blindness" holds a distinguished place on the list of the 100 best books of all time compiled by the prestigious Norwegian Book Circle. His works often feature unique narrative styles and explore profound themes, making him a celebrated figure in world literature.
José Saramago, born into a family of humble origins, faced the necessity to abandon his studies in Lisbon early on. He took on various jobs to make a living before eventually venturing into a career in journalism. His initial novel, "Land of Sin" (Terra do Pecado), dedicated to his native region, was published in 1947. However, it took more than two decades for him to establish himself in the literary world.
Following the fall of the Salazar regime in 1974, Saramago was appointed as the head of the daily newspaper Diário de Notícias. However, his tenure was short-lived as he was dismissed a year later. The year 1975 marked the beginning of his life as a full-time writer.
From that point onward, Saramago's literary production remained consistent and prolific until his passing. In 1982, "Baltasar and Blimunda" (Memorial do Convento) brought him international acclaim at the age of 60. Saramago became a highly successful writer, with his books being widely sold and translated into 25 languages, solidifying his reputation as a literary figure of global significance.
In 1991, José Saramago published "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ" (O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo). However, the novel stirred controversy and was removed from the selection list for European literary prizes due to its perceived offense to religion. In response to this act of political censorship, Saramago went into self-imposed exile on the Spanish island of Lanzarote. There, he continued his literary work until his passing on June 18, 2010.
Despite the challenges he faced, Saramago's literary contributions were recognized on the global stage. In 1998, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Committee praised him for creating "an elusive reality constantly tangible again in a work of unsuspected depths and in the service of wisdom" through his parables sustained by imagination, compassion, and irony. Saramago's legacy endures as a testament to his unique literary voice and his unwavering commitment to artistic expression.
Amália Rodrigues, born in 1920, is revered as a legendary Portuguese Fado singer. Over her lifetime, she recorded an extensive catalog of more than 170 albums. Recognized as the "Queen of Fado" (Rainha do Fado), Amália's influence transcended national boundaries, making her a significant cultural ambassador for Portugal.
Fado is a traditional Portuguese music genre characterized by its poignant lyrics and melancholic melodies, often expressing themes of longing, fate, and nostalgia. Amália Rodrigues' powerful and emotive interpretations of Fado songs earned her widespread acclaim, establishing her as an iconic figure in Portuguese music.
Her impact on Fado and her role in promoting Portuguese culture worldwide have solidified her legacy as one of the most celebrated and influential voices in the history of Portuguese music. Amália Rodrigues passed away in 1999, but her contributions to Fado continue to be cherished and remembered.
Amália Rodrigues experienced significant fame between 1950 and 1970, earning recognition as the "Queen of Fado." However, her association with the regime of the dictator António Salazar led to her sidelining for more than a decade following the Carnation Revolution in 1974.
Born in 1920 into a poor family in the Lisbon area, Amália started singing at the age of 9. Unfortunately, she had to leave school at 12 and began working in the fields. By the age of 19, she began performing in Lisbon, quickly gaining attention from prestigious Fado clubs and establishing herself among the great Fado singers.
Her international career took off two years later, as she performed in Spain, Brazil, and across South America. At 32, she became a celebrated artist in major cities like New York, London, and Paris, turning down offers from Hollywood studios to focus on her singing.
However, after the Carnation Revolution in 1974, Amália faced repercussions for her association with the Salazar regime, leading to a ban on her performances. She remained silent for 11 years. It wasn't until 1985, at the age of 65, that she made a triumphant return to the stage.
Five years later, in 1990, she was decorated and officially recognized by Mário Soares, the President of the Portuguese Republic. This marked a belated acknowledgment of her immense contribution to Portuguese music and culture.
Amália Rodrigues passed away in 1999 at the age of seventy-nine. Her death had a profound impact on the Portuguese people, prompting the declaration of a national mourning period lasting three days. During her funeral, hundreds of thousands of people from Lisbon and beyond flooded the streets to pay their final respects to the beloved "Queen of Fado."
Amália Rodrigues' legacy endures not only through her extensive body of work but also in the hearts and memories of the Portuguese people, who continue to hold her in high regard as a cultural icon and musical legend.
António de Oliveira Salazar, born in 1889 and passing away in 1970, was a Portuguese statesman who served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He ascended to power during the period of the National Dictatorship (Ditadura Nacional) and subsequently restructured it into the "New State" (Estado Novo), a form of corporatist regime that governed Portugal from 1933 to 1974.
Salazar's leadership was characterized by authoritarian rule, censorship, and a strong emphasis on nationalism. The Estado Novo regime was marked by centralized control, economic autarky, and a conservative social agenda. Salazar's policies aimed at maintaining political stability and economic order, and he maintained power through the suppression of dissent.
His rule lasted until 1968 when he suffered a stroke, and Marcelo Caetano succeeded him as Prime Minister. Salazar lived in seclusion until his death in 1970. The Estado Novo continued under Caetano until its collapse in the Carnation Revolution of 1974, which led to the establishment of a democratic government in Portugal.
António de Oliveira Salazar, initially an economist, entered political life as the Finance Minister for President Óscar Carmona. In just one year, he achieved significant economic accomplishments, balancing the budget and stabilizing the national currency.
Appointed as Prime Minister in 1932, Salazar introduced a civilian administration at a time when many other nations were increasingly militarizing their politics. However, Portugal remained largely underdeveloped, with a relatively poor population and lower educational levels compared to the rest of Europe.
Salazar held firm stances against internationalism, communism, fascism, and trade unionism, establishing a capitalist, conservative, and nationalist regime known as the "Estado Novo."
Under this regime, Salazar wielded political power through censorship and his secret police, the PIDE, which suppressed opposition. Portugal maintained neutrality during World War II, providing aid to the Allies.
Despite being a dictatorship, Salazar's regime played a role in the founding of several international organizations. Portugal was one of the twelve founding members of NATO, the European Free Trade Association, and the OECD. The regime was also marked by the beginning of colonial wars.
The Estado Novo collapsed four years after Salazar's death during the Carnation Revolution in 1974. The revolution marked the end of the authoritarian regime and paved the way for the establishment of a democratic government in Portugal.
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, born in 1942 in Mozambique, which was a former Portuguese colony at the time, was a prominent Portuguese international footballer whose career spanned from the late 1950s to the late 1970s. Known by the nickname "O Pantera Negra" (The Black Panther), Eusébio is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
Eusébio's exceptional skills, goal-scoring prowess, and speed on the field earned him acclaim and admiration. His notable achievements include winning the Ballon d'Or in 1965 and being the top scorer in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, where he led Portugal to a third-place finish. He spent the majority of his club career with S.L. Benfica, contributing significantly to their success.
Eusébio's legacy extends beyond his playing career, as he continues to be celebrated for his impact on the sport and remains an iconic figure in Portuguese and international football history. He passed away in 2014, but his influence on the game endures.
Eusébio spent the majority of his illustrious career with Benfica in Lisbon, where he achieved numerous successes. With Benfica, he won the European Cup (now known as the UEFA Champions League) in 1962 and secured eleven Portuguese championship titles.
In recognition of his exceptional performance during the 1964-1965 season, Eusébio received the prestigious Golden Ball award, recognizing him as the best European soccer player of the year.
During the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Eusébio's talent shone brightly. He scored an impressive nine goals and was honored as the top scorer of the tournament. His contributions were crucial in guiding the Portuguese national team to a third-place finish, marking a historic achievement for Portuguese football on the international stage. Eusébio's impact and success during this World Cup further solidified his status as one of the greatest footballers in the world.
After concluding his soccer career, including a stint in North America, Eusébio continued to make a significant impact as an ambassador for the Benfica Club of Lisbon. His global travels served to promote the club and the sport.
Eusébio passed away on January 5, 2014, due to a cardiorespiratory arrest. His death had a profound impact on Portugal, prompting the Portuguese government to declare three days of national mourning in honor of the football legend.
In a tribute to his enduring legacy, Eusébio's remains were transferred to the National Pantheon on July 3, 2015. The ceremony was attended by prominent figures from both the state and Portuguese soccer, commemorating his extraordinary contributions to the sport and his status as a national icon. The National Pantheon is a revered resting place for figures of great importance in Portuguese history and culture.
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, commonly known as CR7, was born in 1985 in Funchal, Madeira Islands. Regarded as one of the greatest soccer players in history, he shares the distinction with Lionel Messi of having won the Ballon d'Or five times. With an impressive career tally of over 800 goals, Cristiano Ronaldo holds the official record as the highest-scoring player in the history of soccer.
Throughout his career, Ronaldo has showcased exceptional skills, athleticism, and goal-scoring prowess. His versatility, goal-scoring consistency, and numerous individual awards have contributed to his status as one of the most celebrated and accomplished footballers globally. Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved success at various top clubs, including Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.
Cristiano Ronaldo, born into a family of four children, spent much of his early years playing soccer in the Santo Antonio neighborhood of Funchal. He commenced his formal football journey at the age of eight with the club FC Andorinha. By 1995, at the age of 10, he joined Clube Desportivo Nacional for one season before being transferred for a modest sum of 2,200 euros (!) to Sporting Clube de Portugal. He then joined the club's training center, where he spent six seasons in the junior ranks.
Ronaldo made his debut in the Portuguese professional league with Sporting Clube de Portugal on September 29, 2002, at the age of seventeen, scoring two goals in the game.
His breakthrough moment came at the age of 18 on August 6, 2003, when Sporting hosted Manchester United. Ronaldo's outstanding performance led to a 3-1 victory for Sporting. Shortly thereafter, he signed for Manchester United for 15 million euros.
While at Manchester United, Ronaldo achieved significant individual recognition. On December 2, 2008, he won his first Golden Ball, becoming the third Portuguese player after Eusebio and Luis Figo to receive the honor. He was also named FIFA's best player of the year in 2008 and won the Club World Cup with his team.
In 2009, Real Madrid secured Ronaldo's services for a record-breaking sum of 94 million euros, making it the most expensive transfer in the history of soccer.
The year 2016 was a standout period for Cristiano Ronaldo. On May 28, he won his third Champions League title and finished the season with more than 50 goals for the sixth consecutive time. On July 10, he led the Portuguese national team to victory in Euro 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris, marking a historic achievement for both Ronaldo and Portuguese football.
Cristiano Ronaldo earned the reputation of being a true "goal machine," dedicating himself wholeheartedly to his sport, rigorous training, and his family. After his successful stints in Portugal, England, and Spain, he moved to Italy and played for Juventus in Turin for three years.
In a remarkable return to the club where he first gained international acclaim, Ronaldo made a triumphant comeback to Manchester United. His decision to rejoin the club that played a pivotal role in his early career sparked immense excitement among fans and added another chapter to his storied football journey.