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What Happened To Ryota Iwaoka: The Kid Who Was Ridiculed When He Told Cristiano Ronaldo His Dream

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What Happened To Ryota Iwaoka: The Kid Who Was Ridiculed When He Told Cristiano Ronaldo His Dream

"Good afternoon, my name is Ryota. My dream is to be a football player and have the pleasure of playing with you one day. What should I do to achieve that goal?"

Back in 2014, when he was just 12-years-old, a nervous Ryota Iwaoka posed this question to his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, during an event in Japan - where he was offered the opportunity to interview Real Madrid's all-time top goalscorer in an intimate Q&A session.

[If you haven't seen the clip, check it out below.]

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As you can see in the clip above, Ryota was asking the question in Ronaldo's native Portuguese; something that clearly amused the crowd.

Ronaldo, who appeared to take offence to the reaction, asked "why are they laughing?" as a section of the audience started giggling.

"Why?" Ronaldo asked again. "He speaks Portuguese well, very well. They should be happy because he is trying so hard."

Ryota may have been ridiculed by some of the audience that day but six years on, the Japanese player has gone on to make a promising career for himself in football.

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After Ronaldo defended the youngster, he told Iwaoka that becoming a pro requires "belief, effort, and never missing your chance."

Cristiano's encouraging words clearly made an impact. The Japanese youngster, now 18-years-old, has recently led his team, Yamanashi Gakuin, to winning the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament.

The tournament is believed to be the most prestigious under-18 championship in Japan.

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Just days after lifting the trophy, he posted the following to his official Instagram account.

"Cristiano's advice has always been on my mind." the attacking midfielder said via AS. "I was able to win the championship!" he wrote. For the last few years, especially this last one, I have had a lot of pain [injuries].

"Still, there was a person who supported me and he has been here. I am very happy to have best friends from all over the country. Thank you for your great support!"

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This isn't the first time Ronaldo has made a dream come true.

Back in 2019, he flew a seriously ill 10-year old and his family out to Turin to meet him.

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Joseph, from Bristol, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just four years old and he has had to undergo regular treatment from that point onwards.

The youngster idolised Ronaldo and courtesy of charity 'Rays of Sunshine', with the help of Pitch International and of course Ronaldo himself, it was arranged for the lad and his family to have the trip of a lifetime.

Joseph was greeted by the five-time Ballon d'Or winner at Juventus' training ground and given an exclusive tour of the facilities by the man himself.

A class act.

Topics: Football, Juventus, Japan, Cristiano Ronaldo

Jack Kenmare
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