British Columbia

Cristiano Ronaldo subject of UBC Okanagan sociology course

Luis Aguiar, a sociology professor at UBC Okanagan, was so intrigued by the media attention lavished on Cristiano Ronaldo that he decided to teach a fourth-year university course on his celebrity status.

Course will look at the soccer sensation's celebrity status, organized sports

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is the subject of a sociology course at UBC-Okanagan. (Andres Kudacki/Associated Press)

Would you take a course on soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo?

The sports superstar is arguably one of the most talented footballers in history and has over 100 million Facebook fans and his own clothing line. Now, he can add a university course in Kelowna, B.C. centred on his life and celebrity to his claim to fame.

Luis Aguiar, a sociology professor at UBC's Okanagan campus was so intrigued by the media attention lavished on Ronaldo that he decided to teach a fourth-year university course on his celebrity status and how that came to be. 

"I don't think there is anybody bigger in terms of media visibility. He may even be better known than someone like Obama," Aguiar said.   

Text books for the course on Ronaldo sit on the shelves at the bookstore at UBC Okanagan. (Drew Pihlainen)

During the semester-long course, students will discuss the sociological relevance of the organized sport and what it takes to become a global celebrity. They'll also study Ronaldo's impact on the Portuguese diaspora as well as national identity. 

News of the program is also attracting international attention.

"I've been interviewed from journalists in Portugal. There is somebody in France that contacted me. It is immense, the reaction that I've had to the course," Aguiar said.

"I haven't heard from Ronaldo, I haven't heard from his entourage. I would love to hear from either one and I would love to have Ronaldo maybe Skype into the class for 10 to 15 minutes ... that would be awesome ... talk to the students or have them ask questions."

Watch UBC's video on Ronaldo in the classroom on YouTube

With files from Brady Strachan


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