University offers course in Cristiano Ronaldo

A footballer, a phenomenon … an academic subject?

Cristiano Ronaldo’s campaign to take over the known world has progressed another step, with news that the University of British Columbia is offering a course in the sociology of the Real Madrid star.

Luis Aguiar, the visionary genius behind this brilliant plan to watch soccer for academic credit, is at pains to stress that this course doesn’t just consist of watching soccer for credit:

In this case, I’m interested in how Ronaldo has been used to construct several discourses about who he is, what makes him distinct as a footballer, what is his relationship to Portugal, Madeira (his hometown) and his Portuguese identity.

Some students are taking the course because they are “curious about this elite standard he’s created.” Others are fascinated by the idea of Ronaldo as “global citizen”. At least one, we reckon, definitely signed up because they thought they’d just be watching soccer for academic credit, the fool. For Aguiar, meanwhile, it’s a dream come true:

My two greatest passions are football and critical sociology. A course on Cristiano Ronaldo gives me the opportunity to combine the two.

Your move, Lionel. Your move.

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