Brazil legend Ronaldo cycling 450km to honour club's promotion: 'I know that I will suffer'

The retired footballer promised he would complete the ride when the club he owns, Real Valladolid, were promoted back to LaLiga

Ronaldo cycling 450km
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo started a 450-kilometre bike ride from Valladolid to Santiago de Compostela on Sunday, fulfilling a promise he made before his club gained promotion to LaLiga, Spain's top professional football division.

Ronaldo has majority ownership of Real Valladolid, after he bought a 51 per cent stake in the club in 2018, worth €30 million. He now owns 82 per cent of the club, and is currently the club president as well. 

The 45-year-old made the promise to complete the cycle ride, which he started on Sunday, after Real Valladolid were relegated from LaLiga in the 2020-21 season. With his club clinching promotion on May 29, by beating Huesca 3-0, Ronaldo then knew he had to complete the cycle. 

Aiming to complete several dozen kilometres each day, Ronaldo told reporters he was looking forward to completing the ride, despite expecting a harsh physical toll on his body.

"It will be beautiful. I know that I will suffer physically, but it will be an unforgettable experience," Ronaldo told reporters at Valladolid's stadium before starting the ride.

"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."

The ride began at Valladolid's José Zorrilla stadium on Sunday, and will follow the Camino de Santiago trail before arriving in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. 

The trail is a pilgrimage of Medieval Origin to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, and is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its role in encouraging cultural exchanges between people.

Ronaldo's partner has joined him on the ride, with a team of "expert professionals" also accompanying him to aid him in his journey. Ronaldo stated he is cycling because he can't run, due to knee injuries he suffered during his professional football career. 

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Hi, I'm a Trainee News Writer at Cycling Weekly. 


I have worked for Future across its various sports titles since December 2020, writing news for Cycling Weekly, FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture. I am currently studying for a NCTJ qualification alongside my role as Trainee News Writer at the company. 


Prior to joining Future I attended Cardiff University, earning a degree in Journalism & Communications.