Panels, Slides & Ronaldo

Panels, Slides & Ronaldo
Panels, Slides & Ronaldo

A World Cup Golden boot winner, A Love Islander, A man who has won the UEFA Champions league with no less than 3 different teams...and Me!

This was the powerful panel from varied areas of the sports industry flown into Monaco to discuss the evolution of Brand Ambassadors and Influencers with UEFA.

I adore hosting panels and when I have Gary Lineker, Josh Denzel, Clarence Seedorf and Phil Carling by my side my role is made infinitely easier. I just tee them up, let them do what they do best and help move the story along. It's truly a joy to work with pros of the level of Lineker - a natural born story teller that grips the room to his every word and charm.

I flew to Monaco on the day before the Champions League draw crossing paths with the most incredible people. Every street, every glamorous bar, every turn I'd spot another footballing legend dressed impeccably.

There's legends, then there's LEGENDS.

My friend and I were waiting for our flight home from Nice airport and admiring the children's slide that runs from the top floor of the airport down to the departure lounge, where our flight was being boarded. It is definitely a quicker route than the elevator and pretty direct. We looked at each other, ignored the sign that firmly requested Under 6's only and despite a slight "You go first, no you first" vibe we both knew we were going to do it. We made a deal, sniggering we decided we would both stand up at the bottom straight faced and walk away like it was totally normal. No laughing. Play it cool.

Panels, Slides & Ronaldo

I don't know why we decided this was a good idea the anonymity of a busy airport felt fun. Chances are we'd never meet these random travellers again so we dived in.

The cold metal across my arms and extreme cleanliness of the interior made it clear to me this slide was barely used.

My friend was ahead of me and as I popped out the base I saw his back standing to attention and talking to someone. Someone he knew.

Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima was stood right there and evidently just saw us pop out of the shiny blue and silver children's slide in the middle of the bloody airport.

Ronaldo, the original Ronaldo, El Fenomino

I died.

Without acknowledging what we had just done he introduced me. I shook Ronaldo's hand said something in Portuguese simply to prove I was Brazilian like him, I have no idea what I said or if it even made sense and just stood there, dying.

We chatted about the UEFA Champions League and his long flight home and parted ways.

Ronaldo was phenomenal, deep voiced, strong stance and owned the space he stood in, he was happy and walked away with a sense of power. He knew he was Ronaldo. I found him particularly cool mostly for not openly acknowledging that we both, as adults, had just appeared out of a blue and silver children's slide. But we knew that he knew and he knew that we knew and now no matter what I do that will forever be the moment I met El Fenomeno!

Damn.

Panels, Slides & Ronaldo

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