For many, the dynamic England under-21 midfielder, who moved from Leeds United to Serie A, was an obvious candidate to hop on board the expat express.
On Leeds’ books since 2015, the 20-year-old has already seen his fair share of the world, having been born in the west African state of Guinea Bissau, brought up in Portugal and then moving with his family to the north of England in his early teens.
An Elland Road first-teamer in over 60 games, he is athletic and powerful, plays with drive and energy, is a ball-winning machine and likes to keep it neat and tidy in possession.
Contributing twice to English triumphs at the Toulon festival, in 2017 and 2018, he showcased his shooting power with a stunning long-range strike against Qatar at this summer’s tournament.
While he still has a few rough edges to smooth out technically and tactically, he is a willing scholar and should benefit enormously from a crash-course in Italian-style strategy and discipline.
“Sampdoria is the next phase in my life,” he says. “Serie A is my latest challenge. The president here has put his faith in me. So has the coach. I’m here to learn and help the team.”
The fifth English player to line up for Samp – following in the footsteps of Trevor Francis, David Platt, Des Walker and Lee Sharpe – both he and his twin brother Romario were named after Brazilian football legends, with his defensive midfielder sibling under contract with Leeds until this summer.
A former pupil at the Benfica academy, Ronaldo’s current footballing good fortune stands in marked contrast to his initial struggles to make a name for himself in the English game, having been rejected as a youngster by Manchester City, Hull City and Barnsley.
Powerful...a driving force in midfield