Ronaldo Vieira goes back to school...

Co-operative Academy royalty Ronaldo Vieira came to visit last week, speaking to Year 10 and 11 boys about his journey from Academy student to professional footballer. 

Ronaldo now plays for Leeds United and has played for England's U20 squad, but he attended our Academy with his twin Romario, who is also a football player. Mr Buckley invited Ronaldo into the Academy to speak to some of our Year 10 and 11 boys about what it takes to be successful.  

Ronaldo sat with the students whilst he talked about the five key areas he tries to live by, respect, determination, organisation, personality and communication, explaining that these apply to all areas of life, not just that of a footballer. 

Ronaldo was honest and open with the boys, talking about his struggles and how he overcame them. From realising he needed to work harder for his GCSEs to spending hours training without even knowing if he would get to play a match. 

He encouraged the boys to show respect not only to other people, but also themselves. As building positive relationships with people is the best way to achieve. He credited his own determination for getting him to where he is now, using his own experience to highlight that when you find something you love, nothing should stop you wanting to achieve your goals. 

Organisation, Ronaldo said, goes hand in hand with determination, "being organised helps you prioritise tasks and meet deadlines. Its communicates a positive impression to others around you and builds your reputation."

Knowing more than most how important teamwork is, Ronaldo emphasised how important your personality can be as well. Being friendly, considerate and supportive of others is the best way to show people you care. He said that communicating this to others means they will want to support you, "be polite, show manners, if you communicate well the messages you want to deliver will come across successfully". He used his recent red card in a match as an example of why communication is so important, "I owed it to the fans and my team to apologise", explaining that you have to take responsibility for your actions. 

He then answered questions from the students from "how does it feel to be on FIFA?" to "what inspires you most?", answering each with honesty and integrity. "It was great that our pupils got to hear from Ronaldo, and the inspirational messages he had. Providing guidance on skills and attributes needed to be successful in life will stay with them for a long time to come" Assistant Principal, Mr Buckley.

It's always great to see our alumni doing well, but it's even greater when they take time out of their lives to come back and share their experiences. The session was a great way for the students to see first hand that everyone starts somewhere, and that somewhere might just be our very own Academy. 

Thank you to Ronaldo for taking the time to visit us, and we hope to see you again soon, be that on the pitch or back in our classrooms! 

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