Ronaldo: Kicking his way to fame

Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded by many as the best football player in the world, and was named the greatest goal scorer to play in the UEFA Champions League 2014 UEFA poll. He was also Footballer of the year in 2007 and 2008.

Ronaldo is the highest-paid footballer earning €21 million per year. He also became the most expensive footballer in history when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million.

Born and raised:

February 5, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

Young footballer:

At the age of eight, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man. In 1995, Ronaldo signed with local club Nacional, and, after a title-winning campaign, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.

Induction into professional football:

Ronaldo caught the attention of then Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed him for £12.2 million (€15 million) in 2003. In 2004, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup.

Playing for Portugal:

With Portugal he has participated in 5 major tournaments; UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. He scored his first international goal in the opening game of Euro 2004 against Greece, in addition to helping Portugal reach the final.

He took over captaincy in July 2008 and captained them to the Euro 2012 semi-finals finishing the competition as joint-top scorer.

 

Interesting facts:

 

-Ronaldo was named after former US President, Ronald Reagan, who was greatly admired by Ronaldo’s father. His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro.

-Ronaldo’s father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, passed away at the age of 52 due to alcoholism. As a result, Ronaldo does not drink alcohol.

-His average freekick speed is around 130kmph.

-As a teenager, he would be in the gym using weights on either foot, and then dribbling with the ball. Ronaldo thought training with weights would improve his game technique because without weights, he would be even faster.

-His mother, Dolores Aveiro nicknamed him a ‘cry-baby’.

-Cristiano Ronaldo was expelled from school after throwing a chair at his teacher who made fun of his Madeiran accent, and mocked his family’s financial status.

 

Awards:

-He was awarded the European Golden Shoe in 2008, 2011 and 2014.

-In 2008, he won 3 of the 4 main PFA and FWA trophies and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFPro Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, and the Onze d’Or.

-He was the inaugural winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year in 2009.

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