Beijing: Brazilian footballing great Ronaldo will open soccer schools in three Chinese cities, including the national capital Beijing and the financial hub Shanghai, by the end of this year, the head of the project has said.
"Our first schools will be located in Beijing, Shanghai and Mianyang (in southwest China's Sichuan province), and they are expected to start operation in December," said Paulo Swerts, who manages Ronaldo's soccer schools in China.
39-year-old Ronaldo, who announced in September his plans to open 30 soccer schools across China, arrived in Mianyang yesterday, together with business partner and Brazilian billionaire Carlos Wizard Martins for a soccer promotion event held in a local middle school.
Paulo said that they will cooperate with 30 schools in China by providing coaching staff, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
The Ronaldo Academy, jointly founded by Ronaldo and Carlos, is expected to open 100 football schools worldwide by 2020, with eight to be established in Brazil, the US and China this year.
Considered by many as one of the best strikers of all time, Ronaldo was popularly dubbed "the phenomenon". He retired in February 2011.