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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.

He is best known for his set records while playing for the Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus clubs, as well as the Portuguese national team.

Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballons d’Or and four European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for a European player.

He has won 29 trophies in his career, including six league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League.

A prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo holds the records for the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League (128) and the joint-most goals scored in the UEFA European Championship (9).

He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,000 professional career appearances and has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.

  • Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
  • Born: 5 February 1985 (age 35 years), Hospital Dr. Nélio Mendonça, Funchal, Portugal
  • Salary: 31 million EUR (2019)
  • Height: 1.87 m
  • Partner: Georgina Rodríguez (2017–)
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About Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in São Pedro, Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, and grew up in Santo António, Funchal.

He is the fourth and youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Viveiros da Aveiro (b. 1954), a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro (1953–2005), a municipal gardener and a part-time kit man.

His great-grandmother on his father’s side, Isabel da Piedade, was from the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde.

He has one older brother, Hugo (b. 1975), and two older sisters, Elma (b. 1973) and Liliana Cátia “Katia” (b. 1977), who is a singer. Ronaldo grew up in a Catholic and impoverished home, sharing a room with all his siblings.

As a child, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha from 1992 to 1995, where his father was the kit man, and later spent two years with Nacional. In 1997, aged 12, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who signed him for a fee of £1,500.

He subsequently moved from Madeira to Alcochete, near Lisbon, to join Sporting’s other youth players at the club’s football academy.

By age 14, Ronaldo believed he had the ability to play semi-professionally, and agreed with his mother to cease his education in order to focus entirely on football.

While popular with other students at school, he had been expelled after throwing a chair at his teacher, who he said had “disrespected” him.

However, one year later, he was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that could have forced him to give up playing football.

Ronaldo underwent heart surgery where a laser was used to cauterise multiple cardiac pathways into one, altering his resting heart rate.

He was discharged from the hospital hours after the procedure and resumed training a few days later.

Career

Cristiano began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003, aged 18.

After winning the FA Cup in his first season, he helped United win three successive Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup; at age 23, he won his first Ballon d’Or.

In 2009, Ronaldo was the subject of the then-most expensive association football transfer when signed for Real Madrid in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million).

There, Ronaldo won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, and four UEFA Champions League titles, and became the club’s all-time top goalscorer.

After joining Madrid, Ronaldo finished runner-up for the Ballon d’Or three times, behind Lionel Messi – his perceived career rival – before winning back-to-back Ballons d’Or from 2013–2014 and again from 2016–2017.

After winning a third consecutive Champions League title in 2018, Ronaldo became the first player to win the trophy five times.

In 2018, he signed for Juventus in a transfer worth an initial €100 million (£88 million), the highest ever paid by an Italian club and the highest ever paid for a player over 30 years old. With the Italian outfit, he has won one Serie A and one Supercoppa Italiana.

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A Portuguese international, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015.

He made his senior debut in 2003 at age 18, and has since earned over 160 caps, including appearing and scoring in ten major tournaments, becoming Portugal’s most capped player and his country’s all-time top goalscorer.

He scored his first international goal at Euro 2004 and helped Portugal reach the final of the competition.

He assumed full captaincy in July 2008, leading Portugal to their first-ever triumph in a major tournament by winning Euro 2016, and received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament.

He became the highest European international goalscorer of all-time in 2018.

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One of the most marketable athletes in the world, Ronaldo was ranked the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and as the world’s most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019.

Time included him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014.

As of January 2020, Ronaldo is also the most followed user on Instagram. With earnings of €720 million (£615 million) from 2010 to 2019, he was ranked second in Forbes list of highest-paid athletes of the decade.