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Cristiano Ronaldo’s son emulated his father by pulling off the 37-year-old’s trademark celebration after scoring for Manchester United’s under-12 side on Wednesday. Cristiano Jr joined the club’s academy ranks at the same time his father returned to Old Trafford from Juventus in the summer and has been making plenty of waves at youth level over the course of this season.
The 11-year-old was on target for United’s youth side against EF Girones Sabat on Wednesday as he chipped in with his team’s fifth goal of the afternoon before raising no shortage of eyebrows with his familiar reaction. He wheeled away to the corner flag after getting on the end of a low cross to poke the ball home before spinning around in the air and screaming at the top of his lungs in a carbon copy of his father’s trademark celebration.
The iconic moment did not mark the first instance in which Cristiano Jr has pulled off the move at this week’s MIC Cup youth tournament in Spain. He produced a similar celebration after finding the back of the net in another game at the same tournament and could well be looking to adopt his father’s victory shout as his own on a long-term basis as he continues to develop on an upward trajectory.
Cristiano Jr already looks to have a fully-fledged professional career waiting for him once he reaches adulthood due to his affiliation with Ronaldo. However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has insisted on a number of occasions that he will not be disheartened if his son fails to make it as a player or decides to pursue a different career path over the coming years.
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“I would love for him to be a footballer, because he feels passion for this sport,” said Ronaldo earlier this year. “He is a competitor and he hates losing.
“He’s fast and he’s driven. But this is nothing, it takes a lot of dedication. Only time will tell. I will never pressure him, he will do what he wants.
“Also what I want the most for Cristianito and everyone else is that they’re happy and that they choose what they want. I will support in any way.”
Cristiano Jr is joined by the sons of Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Matic in United’s youth setup and is expected to remain on the club’s books for as long as his father stays at Old Trafford. However, with Ronaldo having been tipped to leave the Red Devils if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, it remains to be seen where Cristiano Jr will end up over the next few years at least.
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