Brazil legend Ronaldo is sticking to a promotion vow made ahead of Real Valladolid’s 2021-22 campaign, with the former Real Madrid and Inter striker preparing to undertake a gruelling four-day bike ride.
The World Cup winner is now a majority stakeholder at Valladolid, having acquired a 51 per cent stake in the club for £25 million ($31m) in September 2018, and is determined to help them deliver on potential.
Relegation out of La Liga was endured in 2020-21, but promotion back into the big time has been secured at the first time of asking and an iconic South American must now deliver on a pre-season promise.
What did Ronaldo promise if Real Valladolid were promoted?
The 45-year-old, who claimed two global crowns with Brazil in his playing days along with three FIFA World Player of the Year awards, has said that he will cycle the arduous route from Valladolid’s home stadium to Santiago de Compostela in North-Western Spain.
He will be making the journey alongside his wife and has said of honouring a vow that he would make the journey if promotion was secured in 2021-22: “I promised that if we came back [to La Liga], I would do the Camino de Santiago.
“I will do it by bike as I can’t run. My wife and I will leave from Valladolid on Sunday and travel to Santiago de Compostela by bicycle.
“It will be beautiful. I know that I will suffer physically but it will be an unforgettable experience.
“When we were relegated, I knew we had to do a lot of work to get back to the first division.
“I made the promise, we've done a very good job, especially at the beginning of the year, with all the changes we've made, all the philosophy we've changed.”
How long will Ronaldo’s journey take?
It is expected that Ronaldo and his partner will travel around 84km a day along the famous route, meaning that it will take them approximately four days to complete.
Once within sight of their destination, the iconic Brazilian will follow a path to a famous shrine that is visited by thousands that make a similar pilgrimage every year.
Ronaldo is unable to complete the journey, as many others do, by foot as he manages the physical impact of a distinguished playing career.
While he registered over 350 goals at club level and a further 62 while earning 98 caps for his country, serious knee injuries were suffered along the way and he headed into retirement on the back of a spell at Corinthians in 2011.