Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is often regarded as one of the best footballers to have ever played the game and his performances over the better part of a decade have only helped in reinforcing that belief among football fans.
Ronaldo grew up in Madeira, Portugal but after graduating from the youth set up at Sporting CP he was immediately snapped up by English club Manchester United after his talent as a winger was spotted by their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ronaldo spent six years at Manchester United and that was where he developed his game as a skillful, quick, lethal winger who could score goals and create opportunities for his team mates.
He won plenty of trophies for Manchester United and also shone for the Portugual before he moved to Real Madrid as the world’s most expensive player. At Real Madrid he has broken some of the most important goal-scoring records that had stood for many years and also led the club to important trophies.
Ronaldo is also the captain of the Portuguese national team and led them to victory in Euro 2016—their first-ever triumph in a major tournament.
He has also won several individual awards that have further cemented his status as one of the world’s premier footballers. With over 415 million followers, Cristiano Ronaldo is the most-followed individual on Instagram.
Quick Bio Facts
Nick Name: The Sultan Of The Stepover
Also Known As: Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro
Father: José Dinis Aveiro
Mother: Maria Dolores Dos Santos Aveiro
Siblings: Elma Aveiro, Hugo Aveiro, Liliana Catia Aveiro
Born Country: Portugal
Ancestry: Cape Verdean Portuguese
Childhood & Early Life
Cristiano Ronaldo was born on February 5, 1985, in Madeira, Portugal, to Jose Dinis Aveiro and his wife Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro. His father was a gardener with the municipality while his mother worked as a cook. Ronaldo was the youngest child among four children; the other being a son and two daughters.
Ronaldo was expelled from the school after he assaulted his teacher by throwing a chair at him. He had always been a keen footballer and by the time he was fourteen years old he decided to concentrate on becoming a professional footballer. Ronaldo had been playing for Androrinha since he was 8.
In 1995, Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club ‘Nacional’ located in his hometown of Madeira, and following his good show for them he joined one of the biggest clubs in Portugal, namely, ‘Sporting CP’ after clearing a trial.
During his time at Sporting CP Cristiano Ronaldo played for all the levels, i.e., under-16, under-17, under-18, B-team, and the first team before finally graduating into the senior team in the year 2002. He scored two goals in his league debut and announced his arrival on the big scene. His exploits for Sporting CP brought him into prominence and some of the biggest clubs in England like Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United started courting him.
Cristiano Ronaldo played in a UEFA Champions League against Manchester United, in 2003. The manager of the English club Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed by his performance and brought him to the club in the same year. In his first season at Machester United, Ronaldo scored three goals in the league and also scored in the FA Cup final to help the club win the trophy. A year after joining Manchester United, Ronaldo scored two goals in the European Championships for Portugal as the team ended runners up on home soil.
Cristiano Ronaldo became one of Manchester United’s most important players during his six-year stint at the club and during that time the club became one of the most successful clubs in Europe as it won three league titles on the trot as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2008. Ronaldo scored 84 goals for the club in 196 league games and became one of the best players in the world.
At the 2006 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo was an integral part of the Portuguese national team as they reached the semifinal of the tournament; Ronaldo scored one goal in the tournament. The following year he was named the captain of the national team but in the European Championships that followed the next year, he scored only one goal as the team crashed out in the quarter-finals.
In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo became the most expensive player in the world after Spanish giant Real Madrid paid Manchester United £80 million to bring him to Madrid. He scored 33 goals in his very first season. In the following season, he ended the Spanish league season with 40 goals, which became a record in the league’s history and helped Real Madrid win the Copa del Rey.
Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal at the Football World Cup in South Africa in 2010, but he had a quiet tournament, scoring only one goal as the team was knocked out by Spain in the round of 16. In 2012, he was the main inspiration for the team as he scored three goals to lead the team to the semifinal of the European Championships but Portugal was knocked out by Spain yet again in a penalty shootout.
In 2012, Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Spanish League title and it proved to be his first league title with the club. He scored 60 goals in all competitions in the season as Real Madrid cantered to the title with 100 points. He followed it up with a haul of 55 goals in all competitions the following season.
The season that started in 2013, was a particularly special one for Ronaldo as he scored a staggering 51 goals in the season and at the same time helped Real Madrid win their coveted 10th UEFA Champions League title. In the Champions League, Ronaldo scored 17 goals which made him the highest scorer ever in a single season of the tournament. He has a total of 89 goals in the tournament overall.
In the 2014 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo had a disappointing tournament as Portugal was knocked out in the first round with him scoring only one goal. He has scored 50 goals for Portugal in his career and which is the highest for any Portuguese player. In the league seasons that started that year, Ronaldo was in sublime form as he notched up 61 goals in total and also became the fastest player to reach the 200-goal milestone in the Spanish league. He reached it in 178 games.
He captained Portugal in their 2016 Euro Cup campaign and led them to victory. In the final against France, he got injured and was stretchered off the pitch after just 25 minutes but ultimately Portugal went on to win the match. Ronaldo was awarded the Silver Boot as he was the joint second-highest goalscorer in the tournament.
In the 2018 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo became the oldest player ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match. He scored the hat-trick against Spain. Portugal progressed to the last 16 and was eliminated following a 2–1 defeat to Uruguay.
Clubs Level Career
Ronaldo memorabilia at Sporting CP’s museum
At age 16, Ronaldo was promoted from Sporting’s youth team by first-team manager László Bölöni, who was impressed with his dribbling. He subsequently became the first player to play for the club’s under-16, under-17, and under-18 teams, the B team and the first team, all within a single season.
Over the course of the 2002–03 season, his representatives suggested the player to Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier and Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Manager Arsène Wenger, who was interested in signing Ronaldo, met with him at Arsenal‘s stadium in November to discuss a possible transfer.
2003–2007: Development and breakthrough
“There have been a few players described as ‘the new George Best’ over the years, but this is the first time it’s been a compliment to me.”
—Former Manchester United player George Best hails the 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.
Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United was completed on 12 August 2003, too late for the 2003 FA Community Shield but in time for their game against Bolton Wanderers on the opening day of the 2003–04 season, and made him the first Portuguese player to sign for the club. His transfer fee made him, at the time, the most expensive teenager in English football history.
Although he requested the number 28, his number at Sporting, he received the squad number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by such United players as George Best, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham.
Wearing the number 7 became an extra source of motivation for Ronaldo A key element in his development during his time in England proved to be Ferguson, of whom he later said: “He’s been my father in sport, one of the most important and influential factors in my career.
Ahead of the 2009–10 season, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee at the time of £80 million (€94 million). His contract, which ran until 2015, was worth €11 million per year and contained a €1 billion buy-out clause. At least 80,000 fans attended his presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu, surpassing the 25-year record of 75,000 fans who had welcomed Diego Maradona at Napoli.
Despite months of negotiation to sign a new Real Madrid contract, on 10 July 2018, Ronaldo signed a four-year contract with the Italian club Juventus after completing a €100 million transfer, which included an additional €12 million in other fees and solidarity contributions to Ronaldo youth clubs.
The transfer was the highest ever for a player over 30 years old, and the highest paid by an Italian club. Upon signing, Ronaldo cited his need for a new challenge as his rationale for departing Madrid, but later attributed the transfer to the lack of support he felt was shown by club president Florentino Pérez.
Return to Manchester United
2021–2022: 100 Premier League goals and team struggles
On 27 August 2021, Manchester United announced they had reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa, and medical.] The transfer was for an initial £12.85 million, with a two-year contract plus an optional year, and was confirmed on 31 August. Ronaldo was given the number 7 shirt after Edinson Cavani agreed to switch to 21.
The first 24 hours of Ronaldo’s shirt sales were reported to have broken the all-time record following a transfer, overtaking Messi after his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
On 30 December 2022, Saudi club Al Nassr reached an agreement for Ronaldo to join the club effective 1 January 2023, signing a contract until 2025. As reported by Fabrizio Romano of The Guardian, Ronaldo received the highest football salary in history, worth €200 million per year; this included an annual guaranteed football salary of €90 million, with commercial and sponsorship deals included bringing his total annual salary to €200 million. He was also reportedly paid a signing-on bonus in the region of €100 million.
According to Romano, Ronaldo rejected a move to Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City to join Al Nassr. Ronaldo was due to appear in a match against Al-Tai on 5 January 2023 but had to serve a two-match ban incurred while he was still at Manchester United for knocking a phone out of a 14-year-old Everton fan’s hand after a 1–0 loss at Goodison Park in April 2022.
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Awards & Achievements
Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon D’Or (later known as the FIFA World Player of the Year Award) in 2008, when he was a Manchester United player.
In 2013, he won the FIFA World Player of the Year Award and won it again the following year.
Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for being the highest scorer in the history of Real Madrid with 338 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest ever goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 89 career goals till date.
Forbes magazine ranked him the world’s highest-paid athlete in 2016, and 2017.
Personal Life & Legacy
Cristiano Ronaldo’s father, José Dinis Aveiro , died in September 2005, due to an alcoholism-related liver condition.
His mother, Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, is a cancer survivor; she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, but eventually recovered. However, in February 2019, she was again diagnosed with cancer.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had six children out of which three have been born via surrogate mothers. He first became father on on June 17, 2010, when his son, Cristiano Jr., was born via surrogacy. Ronaldo did not reveal the identity of his son’s mother.
On June 8, 2017, he became father to twins, daughter Eva and son Mateo, via surrogacy.
From 2010 to 2015, he was in a relationship with Russian model Irina Shayk.
He is currently in relationship with Spanish model, Georgina Rodríguez, and the couple was blessed with a daughter, Alana Martina, on November 12, 2017. On April 18, 2022, the couple was blessed with twins, a boy and a girl, however, the boy died during childbirth.
Net Worth:$500 Million