Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo plays for top Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid. He has broken many records during his distinguished career.
Not only was he the first footballer in history to win four European Golden Shoes for being the leading goal scorer of the season, he also set a record in 2007/08 as a Manchester United player, when he scored 62 goals for his club.
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He was no stranger to breaking records even before this – Manchester United signed him as an 18-year-old from Sporting CP in 2003 and paid a record fee of £12.24 million for a player of his age. In 2009, Real Madrid paid a world record £80 million for Ronaldo’s expertise on the pitch.
His titles to date include four European Cups, two European Super Cups, two La Liga trophies, one European Championship, two Copa del Rey trophies, three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two Football League trophies, two Community Shield wins, four Ballon d’Or, two UEFA Best Player awards, two IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer awards and more.
He also holds the record for scoring the most goals (369) in the top five European leagues, the most goals (105) in the UEFA Champions League, the most goals (29) in the UEFA European Championship and the most goals (17) in one UEFA Champions League season. The Portuguese Football Federation named him the best Portuguese player of all time in 2015.
Born on 5th February 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, Ronaldo grew up in a working-class district. His father was a gardener and his mother a cook. He has an older brother, Hugo and two older sisters, Liliana Cátia and Elma.
His father, who died in 2005, was kit man for amateur team Andorinha and Ronaldo played there as a child. At 12, after spending two years playing for local club Nacional, he had a three-day trial with Sporting CP in 1997. They signed him for a fee of £1,500 and he trained at the club’s football academy in Alcochete.
Ronaldo worked his way up through the Sporting CP youth teams, making his debut in the Primeira Liga in 2002. He signed for Manchester United in 2003 and Real Madrid in 2009.
Since 2003, he has gained legendary status with his prolific goal scoring ability. He was highly praised by Dutch player Johan Cruyff as being “better than George Best and Denis Law” and has won his massive tally of trophies and awards during a 14-year career in football’s top flight.
Despite rumours circulating in the media of a possible move back to Manchester United this summer, Ronaldo currently remains at Real Madrid and is expected to stay at the Bernabeu next season.
CR7 and Sponsorship
He has a number of lucrative sponsorship deals, including his brand CR7 which is based on his initials and his shirt number – it produces footwear, underwear and clothing. He signed a deal with Nike earlier this year, reportedly worth around $1 billion. Media reports suggest he generated more than $500 million in revenue for Nike in 2016 through social media posts, in which the sportswear giant was mentioned 347 times, with 477 million interactions.
Ronaldo donates hundreds of thousands of pounds to charity and has a philanthropic side to his nature that he prefers to keep private. He helped fund the reconstruction of Aceh, Indonesia, after a devastating earthquake in 2004; he donated to charities in his home town; and paid for experimental treatment to help Real Madrid fan Nuhazet Guillen, nine, in his battle against cancer.
In 2014, Ronaldo paid £50,000 for life-saving brain surgery for 10-month-old Erik Ortiz Cruz, after the boy’s parents asked for a football shirt to auction. He also paid for the follow-up treatments.
Already father to seven-year-old Cristiano Jnr, the footballing superstar became a father again on 8th June with the birth of his twins, Eva Maria and Mateo. Newspaper reports have suggested they were conceived with the help of a surrogate mother, although Ronaldo hasn’t confirmed this. He has shared photographs on his social media accounts of Cristiano Jnr with the newborns, with the caption: “Blessed.” Media reports have also suggested his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, appears to have a baby bump after Ronaldo posted a photo of his family including his mother, Dolores, on holiday in Ibiza. The reports haven’t been confirmed.
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