Emirates Airline, an official Fifa worldwide partner, has announced that Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese captain and winner of the Ballon d’Or 2014, is its newest global ambassador.

In the same press conference, held in Madrid, the airline also premiered its campaign video featuring the football superstar alongside Brazilian legend and fellow global ambassador for Emirates, Pele.

Emirates, a global connector of people and passions, has brought the two football idols together with fans in its flagship A380 onboard lounge in a new digital campaign, which launched on Friday around the world. Every generation of football enthusiasts has a hero, but many have different views of who is the greatest footballer of all time. Whether Ronaldo, Pele or someone else altogether, the debate will continue this summer during the World Cup.

The announcement comes just 74 days before the world’s most watched sporting event kicks off in Pele’s home country of Brazil. Twice named Fifa Player of the Year, Ronaldo, who plays for the Emirates-sponsored Real Madrid, will lead his national team to South America to compete in his third tournament, his second as captain. Making his senior team debut for his country in 2003, he has since been capped over 100 times, holding the record for the youngest Portuguese player to reach the number while also setting the record for most goals scored.

In January, the airline announced three-time World Cup winner Pele as their first global ambassador since the 2006 competition in Germany, when Franz Beckenbauer was brought on board. Continuing with the tradition of only working with the very best on the field, Ronaldo was the ideal choice to stand alongside Pele.

Boutros Boutros, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Brand, said: “Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Pele are well-known around the world. It is not only that their names and faces are synonymous with top-quality football, but also that they have the ability to inspire and connect with people within and beyond the sports arena. Each year Emirates is involved in more than 200 sports events, where fans and customers share exclusive experiences. This campaign reflects the Emirates philosophy to go beyond transporting people and to connect them through sports and culture.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is an icon for this generation of football fans and is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers on the pitch today. He has broken records and earned awards throughout his career. He is massively talented but he doesn’t rest on his laurels. Instead, he works hard to continue pushing himself to new heights. This ethos, plus his ability to inspire fans across the world is why we are delighted to be working with him.”

An official Fifa partner since 2006, Emirates has been involved with the Fifa Women’s World Cup, the Fifa Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups, as well as the Fifa World Cup - including the upcoming 2014 event in Brazil.

Operating daily flights from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Emirates is expected to transport over 18,000 passengers during the month-long tournament this year. The airline connects Brazil and the South American continent to the world, facilitating trade and tourism with air transport links beyond Dubai to the Far East, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Watch the video by visiting http://youtu.be/OFbryriZ3is or for more information visit emirates.com/alltimegreats

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28 Mar 2014