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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Ronaldo set to shine
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was named after Ronaldo Reagan
New Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz was credited with discovering Portugal's "golden generation" of players like Joao Pinto, Luis Figo and Rui Costa in the late 1980s.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and Portugal is said to have unearthed a "platinum generation", with new Manchester United signing Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro the pick of crop.

His contemporaries include Helder Postiga, Hugo Viana, Simao Sabrosa, Tiago Mendes and Ricardo Quaresma.

It is a group of players that Portugal manager Felipe Scolari has started to use as he prepares for Euro 2004 and that has also been coveted by Europe's elite clubs.

Both Inter Milan and Liverpool have been linked with "the other" Ronaldo, who was watched by Liverpool at the Toulon tournament this summer.

Throughout last season there were also repeated whispers that United would move for Quaresma this summer.

Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
1985: Born in Madeira, 5 February
2002: Makes debut for Sporting Lisbon and scores twice
2003: Linked with Liverpool and Chelsea but completes move to Man Utd

But in Portugal, Ronaldo is seen as the brighter prospect of the two, because of his versatility, whereas Quaresma, who has joined Barcelona this summer, operates primarily as a right winger.

Last March Quaresma and Ronaldo, playing for the Portugal Under-21 side, destroyed their English counterparts, with the pair of them getting on the scoresheet in a 4-2 win.

If Ronaldo's reputation is already made in Portugal, across the rest of Europe, he is also viewed along with Spain's Fernando Torres of Atletico Madrid and Liverpool's Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle as among the continent's best prospects.

Named after Ronald Reagan, because his father was an admirer of the former US president and one-time actor, Ronaldo now has the chance to shine in his very own Theatre of Dreams.

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