Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to China. During his distinguished career, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner has travelled to the country for pre-season club tours and his league matches play to sizable televised audiences. This week, Ronaldo visits Shanghai then Beijing with aim to inspire more youth to participate in the beautiful game and to stoke the brilliance of China’s blossoming football culture.
Ronaldo’s brace during his recent triumph in June (his fourth trophy in top European club competition and 21st club title overall) is evidence of his unyielding excellence. Throughout his career, Ronaldo’s tallied 604 goals in all competitions, including a record 75 for Portugal. This legacy, as well as Ronaldo’s unmatched standard of training, serve to inspire participation in the sport from grass roots to professional levels.
Nike’s grassroots efforts to engage youth in football in China began in 1997 with the formation of a series of annual tournaments. The brand’s commitment to Chinese youth football really solidified in 2007 when it joined forces with China’s Ministry of Education to create the country’s first senior high football league. Three years later, Nike launched The Chance, a football competition for youth talent development.
Additionally, Nike became the equipment supplier to Chinese Super League in 2006, and kicked off a broader package partnership with CSL in 2009. Since then, the league underwent rapid improvement in standard of play — spurred by a balance of international superstars and burgeoning Chinese talent. Further partnership with the Ministry of Education through the Active Schools program encourages youth participation in all sports.
Ronaldo’s visit to Shanghai and Beijing encompasses all facets of Chinese football culture — from pure fandom to speed training — and in addition to bringing his influence direct to the nation’s players, offers a lens into the dynamism of the game across the country.
Follow along below for daily updates on Ronaldo’s China tour.
Ronaldo presents the "Brilliant 7," the MVP's of the Nike League, with limited-edition CR7 Mercurial Campeões boots
Fans meet Ronaldo outside the Beijing Guomao Nike Store
Ronaldo snaps a keepsake image with one of Beijing's new architectural icons in the background
Ronaldo visits an art exhibition inspired by football culture in Beijing's 798 Art District
Ronaldo tries his hand at graffiti while visiting Beijing's 798 Art District (click through the slideshow to see the result)
Ronaldo trades national team shirts with fellow #7, Wu Lei
Ronaldo beside a display of Nike Mercurial genealogy at House of Brilliance, Beijing
Ronaldo inside the speed tunnel at House of Brilliance
Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis legend Li Na and world champion hurdler Liu Xiang at the first national Active Schools Innovation Award (ASIA) ceremony
Ronaldo suprises players at the Nike League Finals
Ronaldo teams with players from the Nike League for a passing drill
Ronaldo celebrates with one of the Nike League winning teams
Ronaldo shows his technique high above Shanghai's iconic skyline
Ronaldo arrives at Shanghai's Nike Huaihai Store
Ronaldo surprises fans before a CSL match between Shanghai SIPG vs. Guangzhou FC at Shanghai Stadium
The HyperAdapt 1.0 goes global.
The Converse NBA collection, highlighted by the NBA Chuck Taylor All Star, launches September 29.
The Converse NBA collection, highlighted by the NBA Chuck...
The highly edited NikeLab apparel collection is now available at NikeLab.com and in NikeLab stores.
The highly edited NikeLab apparel collection is now avail...
Dominate your workout of the day in this versatile new men’s training...
The shoe is part of a duo of special silhouettes dedicated to Moore's...
And for the first time, you can get a pair of the limited-edition Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite he’ll race in. Here’s how.
And for the first time, you can get a pair of the limited...
The CR7 Chapter 5: Cut to Brilliance boots are available September 29 on nike.com.
The CR7 Chapter 5: Cut to Brilliance boots are available ...
What you need to know to access the one-hour special that covers the yearlong journey where three elite distance runners attempted to break the two-hour marathon barrier and ended up redefining human potential.
What you need to know to access the one-hour special that...
This holiday season, Jordan Brand continues to celebrate the 20-year-anniversary of the XIII and explores new colorways, materials and make-ups of the Air Jordan I, VI and XII.
This holiday season, Jordan Brand continues to celebrate ...
This new high-end super material has the power to help athletes perform their best while greatly reducing Nike’s water use and carbon footprint.
This new high-end super material has the power to help at...
The Nike X EA SPORTS Hypervenom will make its virtual debut on September 21 and will be worn on pitch by Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani.
The Nike X EA SPORTS Hypervenom will make its virtual deb...
From the cleanest “white-whites” to the most beaten pair, every scuff and speck of dirt writes a story.
From the cleanest “white-whites” to the most beaten pair,...
Learn all about this key innovation for the system of Nike NBA apparel here.
Learn all about this key innovation for the system of Nik...
The Statement Edition uniform sets the tone for big games or rivalries. For each team, the aesthetic expresses the specific spirit of the current roster.
The Statement Edition uniform sets the tone for big games...