Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, popularly known as Cristiano Ronaldo, CR7, Ronaldo, etc., is one of the world’s most popular athletes, often regarded as the best player of the world. He is part of the Messi-Ronaldo debate of who is the greatest player of all time. His incredible tally of goals has helped many clubs win important titles throughout his career. He has also helped his national team win many trophies due to his brilliance and commanding nature on the field. Often considered a hard worker, dubbed to be a ‘goal scoring’ machine; he has numerous records to his name and he is the recipient of 5 Ballon d’Ors; the highest individual football award.
He is a prolific striker who can play as a center-forward and a wide forward on the left-wing. Many instances have marked his journey; billions of fans have been inspired by his professional work ethic. He is known as a hard worker and known for winning and never giving up mentality, which makes him a big game player. He always scores crucial goals and plays important roles in big matches, and comes up with important tactics on the field. There has been a fierce debate for almost a decade and a half between his admirers and Messi’s regarding who is a better footballer.
Despite these comparisons and both playing for rival clubs, they share an extremely good bond and have high regards for each other, which has been seen on and off the pitch. Some of their fans have even agreed that it is impossible to figure out who is better and have stressed out that their rivalry should be enjoyed rather than being stretched by fellow fans.
Who is Cristiano Ronaldo?
The question isn’t pondered upon by many, as billions of individuals are aware of his identity. His impact in the world of football and sports, in general, has been one of the most massive. He currently plays for Juventus FC, a club based in Italy, and plays in the Series A, the Italian top tier league. He is currently the leading goal scorer in the league and the player with the most goal involvement. Ronaldo has been a prolific goal scorer for Juventus, having scored in the most recent derby against Torino to equalize and help Juventus grab a point against their local rivals.
He has often been admired for trying out new challenges, moving to several leagues, and proving himself at various leagues. Ronaldo is currently the most famous footballer in the world, he is the first footballer and the third spokesperson overall to become a billionaire. He has around 274 million followers on Instagram, making him the most followed individual on Instagram. His impact is such that there are already statues and stadiums named after him.
Childhood and Early Life
Cristiano was born in Sao Pedro on 5 February 1985, at Funchal on Madeira’s Portuguese island. He has 3 siblings, and he is the youngest among the 4 children. He has an elder brother and 2 sisters. His father, Jose Aveiro, was a municipal gardener and his mother Maria Aveiro was a cook; as is evident, the family had to spend most of their early days in poverty, and there was poverty to such extent that his mother wanted to abort Cristiano to cut down family expenses. He grew up in a Catholic household and had to take up odd jobs very early in his life.
He played for local club Andorinha from 1992-1995, and then he spent two years at the national club which currently plays in the Portuguese second division. Ronaldo is then moved to the Sporting CP youth team, the Portuguese Big 3, where he developed most of his skills and honed them. His youth career was very successful, having been noted by several scouts and managers. He played for the Portuguese national team very early in his career as he has played for Portugal U-15, U-17, U-20, U-21, and U-23. His youth career was impressive as he amassed 18 goals while playing in all these levels.
He was touted to be the next big thing for Portuguese football since Luis Figo. He had some medical complications early in his life as he was diagnosed with ‘Racing Heart’, which was operated upon. The operation was a success that let him resume his training only a few days later. We are going to discuss some Cristiano Ronaldo facts below.
Cristiano Ronaldo Club Career
Cristiano was promoted to the Sporting CP first team in the year 2002. He spent one season before being noticed by Sir Alex Ferguson; who managed Manchester United at that time. He played one season at Sporting CP (2002-03), where he had 25 appearances and 3 goals. In his debut for Sporting, he scored a brace and secured a 3-0 win over Moreirense. His dribbling caught the then Sporting coach’s eyes; who promoted him to the first team from the youth team primarily for this reason. Sir Alex Ferguson’s urge to sign Ronaldo grew after Sporting handed United a 3-1 defeat.
Other clubs interested in signing him include Barcelona, Arsenal, and Liverpool, with Arsene Wenger being the most serious candidate among these 3 to sign him. His transfer to Manchester United was the most expensive transfer of any teenager in English club football history. It caught widespread attention as people were anticipating a great youngster in their squad. At Manchester United, he converted himself into one of the world’s best; which made him win a Ballon d’Or. He played for United from 2003-2009; winning many important titles and individual awards. He won a Champions League at United and also the Club World Cup
Road to Madrid
During his penultimate year at United; he was linked to Real Madrid and openly talked about his wish to get transferred to Real Madrid. Then followed the Real Madrid Saga of Cristiano Ronaldo; which is the highlight of his club career. He joined Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee of €94 million.
At Real Madrid, he won 4 Champions League titles, winning 3 of them back to back from 2014 to 2017, which is rarely achieved. His league achievements were a bit unsuccessful considering what he achieved with United in England. During his stint with Madrid was able to win only 2 league titles, but the great European success overshadowed this. He formed a formidable trio with Benzema and Bale, who were dubbed as ‘BBC’. After winning the 2017-18 Champions League, he has a shock exit from the club, making the football world go haywire.
There were millions of articles, people discussing his transfer from Madrid to Juventus. In Italy, he won the league title every year since his arrival. He helped Juventus to win many titles and domestic cups. He still hasn’t found European success with Juventus with the recent exit from UCL after loss to Portuguese club Porto.
Cristiano Ronaldo National Team Career
Ronaldo has the most goals in international football. He is Portugal’s most capped player with 173 appearances as he overtook Luis Figo. He is also Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer with 103 goals. With the national team, he has won the Euro 2016 and UEFA Nations League 2019 after a highly successful performance in both tournaments.
In the 2018 World Cup, he took Portugal to the Round of 16, where Uruguay eliminated following a 2-1 defeat. He captains his country and has stated that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be his last WC. He also broke Ferenc Puskas’s record of all-time leading European goal scorer during the 2018 WC.
Awards and Achievements
- He is one of the most decorated players of all time, having won 31 senior trophies.
- He has won 5 Ballon d’Or awards, second only to his long-standing rival Lionel Messi, who has 6.
- Ronaldo has won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award twice in 2016 and 2017.
- He has won 4 European Golden Boots, which is the most by any European player.
- He has won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award in the year 2008.
- In Serie A, he has won the Serie A Footballer of the year award in 2019 and 2020.
- Ronaldo has won several collective awards, including 5 Champions League titles, 3 Premier Leagues, 2 La Liga titles, and 2 Serie A titles.
- He is still active and on the way to achieve even more.
Personal Life and Legacy
His personal life has been marked by many incidents which have highlighted his career and even marred it. He has 4 children and is currently in a relationship with Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez. His previous relationship was with Russian model Irina Shayk which ended in 2015. His first child Cristiano Jr was born in 2010 in the USA; and as per the agreement with Jr’s mother, her identity would not be revealed.
He then became father to a daughter and son who are twins in 2017. With Georgina, he has a daughter who was born in 2017. His legacy has left a huge impact on the world of football. He has been part of many charity, donation programs and donation auctions. He has signed many high-level and costly contracts with brands and companies.
Ronaldo has been ranked the world’s most famous athletes by several media houses and firms like Forbes, ESPN, Goal, etc. He also has a museum dedicated to him in his home town Madeira and has an airport named Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport. His fan following and trophies speak volumes about his career and legacy. Cristiano Ronaldo’s awards have shown the world that he is one of the greatest of all time. These Cristiano Ronaldo facts tell us how successful he is and how determined he is to pitch goals.