Cristiano Ronaldo, born February 5, 1985, is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. He started his professional career at 18 with Manchester United and has also played for international clubs Real Madrid and Juventus. He currently plays for the Saudi Arabian club, Al Nassr, and captains the team. In July 2008, he became captain of the Portugal national soccer team and led the team from strength to strength. He’s a celebrated athlete with a net worth of half a billion dollars, making him one of the richest athletes in the world. Ronaldo’s story started with many trials, but he has risen above them to become an icon today. Join us as we celebrate this legend and his achievements.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a revered name in the world of soccer. His unmatched talent, passion for the sport, endearing personality, and giving heart have made him a fan favorite around the globe. Ronaldo was born and raised on the Portuguese island of Madeira on February 5, 1985, to Maria Dolores and Jose Aveiro. His mother was a cook, and his father was a gardener and kit manager for the local club. He had a hard-knock life growing up. His mother considered aborting him due to poverty and his father’s alcoholism. Growing up, he shared a room with his three siblings in their impoverished catholic home.
Ronaldo played for Andorinha, the local team for which his father was a kit manager. However, when he turned 12 in 1997, he was signed by Sporting CP, a Portuguese soccer club, for about $1,645. When he turned 14, Ronaldo believed he could play professionally and convinced his mother to cease his education because he wanted to focus on soccer. Ronaldo was diagnosed with Tachycardia during this early phase and underwent heart surgery. When he turned 16, he started playing in Sporting CP’s U-16 to U-18 teams, and in 2002 he debuted in the Primeira Liga. In 2003, his team defeated Manchester United, and Alex Ferguson, impressed by the youngster, was determined to sign him. By August 12, 2003, with a transfer fee of 12 million Euros, his move to Man U was complete. He debuted for the club four days later on August 16, 2003.
Ronaldo’s strides are commendable, and he’s achieved global success in his career. He can play on either wing as a versatile attacker, and watching him on the pitch is always an unforgettable experience. In July 2008, he was made captain of the Portugal national team and led them in four FIFA World Cups. After playing for Manchester United for six years, he signed with Real Madrid for about $88 million in 2009. He then joined Juventus in 2018 for about $97 million. In August 2021, the star player was transferred back to Manchester United, however, Ronaldo had a fallout with management. He said he had no respect for Erik ten Hag, the club’s manager, and felt betrayed by the club. He ended his contract with the club in 2022 and, at the beginning of 2023, he signed a contract for a whopping $200 million a year for two years with the Saudi Arabian team, Al Nassr.
Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Ors, La Liga titles, Player of the Year, and an extensive list of accolades that are too lengthy to include. Ronaldo shares his success with his girlfriend and partner, Georgina Rodriguez. He has five children, one of whom is Rodriguez’s, and he announced they were expecting his second pair of twins in 2022. Tragically, the male twin died during childbirth.
At the young age of 12, Ronaldo signs with Sporting CP.
Ronaldo debuts and scores two goals in a 3-0 win against Braga.
In a 6-0 win against Newcastle United, Ronaldo scores his first hat-trick for Man U, putting the team atop the league table.
Ronaldo becomes captain of the Portugal National team.
At a record-breaking transfer fee of 80 million Euros, Ronaldo joins Real Madrid and plays for nine years with this team.
Ronaldo received the silver ball for the fifth time in Paris.
Ronaldo transfers back to Manchester United.
After a fallout with Manchester United's management, he leaves the club and signs a contract with the Saudi Arabian club.
Why We Love Cristiano Ronaldo
His skills are legendary
Ronaldo’s skills on the field are second to none. He easily anticipates passes and he's able to use both legs as well as his head to score goals. It's no wonder he's the top goal scorer in the world.
He’s a philanthropist
He's topped the list of most charitable athletes in the world. Donating $83,000 to pay for a child's brain surgery and funding a Portuguese cancer center are just some of his admirable deeds.
His love for his mother
Ronaldo's mother still lives with him and when asked why he doesn't simply build a house for her, he explained that his mother sacrificed her life for him. She even worked seven days a week so that she could afford to buy him a pair of soccer boots and "as long as she lives, she will always have everything I can give her. She is my sanctuary and my greatest gift," he said.
5 Surprising Facts
A first for Manchester United
After his move to Manchester United was complete, Ronaldo became the first Portuguese player to be signed with the club.
He threw a chair at his teacher
When Ronaldo was about 14, he threw a chair at his teacher, whom he claimed disrespected him.
His favorite food
His favorite food is Bacalhau à Brás, a Portuguese dish consisting of shredded salty cod, onions, finely diced fried potatoes, all bound with scrambled eggs.
He met his partner in a shop
Before becoming a couple, Rodriguez worked in a fashion store where Ronaldo shopped.
He has 10% body fat
As a star athlete, Ronaldo works out a lot and he has just 10% body fat which makes him a sprinting machine.
Cristiano Ronaldo FAQs
Is Cristiano Ronaldo married?
He’s been in a relationship with Georgina Rodríguez since 2016 and while they’re not legally married, she’s commented that they’re married in the eyes of the Lord.
Is Ronaldo better than Messi?
They’re both skilled players and it’s impossible to say who’s better. Ronaldo has scored a record number of international goals, while Messi has won more Ballon d’Or awards.
How many caps does Ronaldo have?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s birthday dates