Brazilian icon and Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, has revealed in his latest interview that Real Valladolid was not on the top of his list when he decided to go into club ownership.
The former striker now turned business mogul said he considered buying football teams in the English Football League Championship and the United States Major League Soccer before turning his sights to LaLiga where he cemented his football legacy with Real Madrid to become the majority stakeholder in Real Valladolid.
Ronaldo decided to go into club ownership after his retirement from football in 2011 following a career that spanned almost two decades in which he represented football’s biggest and best clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and AC Milan; winning several individual awards including the Ballon d’Or and the World Cup golden boot, as well as many trophies including two World Cups.
His first choice was the MLS. “I went to New York and I had a meeting with the MLS president and he presented his ideas,” Ronaldo told The Flow Podcast.
“‘[The MLS President said] You can win all you want but if you don’t have €70m for the franchise, you go nowhere.’. That made me reject that project.”
He then explained on the podcast how he tried to purchase a second-tier English team, only for this plan to hit a stumbling block as well, which forced him to look elsewhere in Europe.
“I looked a lot, in the [English] Championship but everything was too expensive,” he added.
“The Premier League is a complete success worldwide and so is the Championship, but you had to have £60 million, so I then looked in Portugal and Spain, where the prices were more affordable.”
Ronaldo ended up acquiring a 51 percent majority stake in the Valladolid club three years ago. He now serves as the club president alongside being the owner of the club.
Real Valladolid not a long term venture, claims Ronaldo
Ronaldo, in an interview in March 2021, stated that his ownership of Real Valladolid is not a long term venture as he plans to give it up once he achieves his goals at the club.
The club which he settled for in September 2018 after a long search and whose majority shares cost a total of €30 million is his first foray into club ownership and he sees it as a stepping stone to bigger things.
Ronaldo intends to lead Real Valladolid to a place where they can comfortably challenge for trophies in Spain and for spots in European competitions by the time of his departure.
In the March 2021 feature on Sports Illustrated, Ronaldo said: “I’m not going to stay here forever, because I have other things for the future in my mind.
“But it’s too early to talk about that. I want to make this club much better and bigger than when I got it. After that, let’s see.
“For now, it’s just: Keep working and keep the club in the first division.”
Real Valladolid currently play in the Segunda Division of LaLiga after being relegated last season and are currently fifth in the standings as they look towards promotion for the 2022/23 LaLiga season.