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Victory hire scout who found Ronaldo

AAP logoAAP 21/09/2016 Vince Rugari

Melbourne Victory have appointed the man who turned Cristiano Ronaldo from a scrawny pre-teen to a superstar-in-waiting to head up the A-League club's new academy program.

Portuguese development guru Paulo Cardoso has joined Victory as academy director, bringing with him more than two decades of experience as coach, technical director and scout in elite football.

Cardoso is best known for his time at Sporting Clube de Portugal, where he first spotted Ronaldo and oversaw his development from the age of 12 until he made his senior debut at 17.

"I'm excited about this opportunity to join Melbourne Victory and I'm looking forward to helping the club establish its football academy," said Cardoso, who has also worked in South Africa, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Cardoso's expertise will be crucial in shaping Victory's footballing philosophy and setting up a junior academy structure, which would feed into the club's existing NPL Victoria, National Youth League and W-League programs.

"He has excellent leadership skills, a proven ability to recruit and develop players to a world-class standard, and a football network which extends to over 40 countries," club CEO Ian Robson said.

"These are all attributes that are important to the success of our academy, which we see as critical to the further growth and prosperity of Melbourne Victory."

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