Cristiano Ronaldo, also known as Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, was born on February 5, 1985, in Madeira, Portugal. Ronaldo is a Portuguese football forward who is considered to be one of the most successful players of all time.
Ronaldo’s father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, was the equipment manager at the club in his hometown, Andorinha. The name Ronaldo has been added in honor of his father’s love for a film actor, Ronald Reagan, who was the U.S. president at the time of his birth. When he was 15 years old, Ronaldo received a medical diagnosis for a heart problem which required surgery; however, the surgery was only for a short time, and he fully recovered. He started his playing career at Clube Desportivo Nacional of Madeira and later was transferred to Sporting Clube de Portugal (known by the name of Sporting Lisbon) which is where he played for the team’s youth teams prior to making his debut in the first team of Sporting in 2002.
A tall man at 6 feet and 1 inch (1.85 meters), Ronaldo is a remarkable athlete on the field. He was initially a right-winger but transformed into a forward who had a free-reined attack style. He was able to captivate opponents by using a clever move of the foot that created room for openings in the defensive lines of the opposing team.
After a successful year with Sporting, which led to the youngster being brought to interest by Europe’s most powerful soccer teams, Ronaldo signed with English powerful Manchester United in 2003. The player became an instant hit and was soon known as one of the top forwards on the planet. The best season he had with United was in 2007-08, which saw him score 42 League and Cup goals and won the Golden Shoe award as Europe’s most prolific scorer with 31 League goals. After leading United to win a Champions League title in May 2008, Ronaldo captured Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Player of the Year honors for his superb 2007-08 campaign. Ronaldo also helped United to a spot during the 2009 Champions League final, in which they were defeated by FC Barcelona.
Then Ronaldo was traded in the following year to the Spanish club Real Madrid–a club that he had been long speculated to want to play for a world record PS 80 million (about 131 million) fee to transfer. His scoring skill was not diminished by the new team, and he scored the highest number of goals (40) of all time in La Liga history during the 2010-11 season (his record was broken the following year by his arch-rival Lionel Messi of Barcelona). In the 2011-12 season, Ronaldo played a key role in helping Madrid to win the La Liga championship and scored an all-time high of 46 goals in his League season. He scored 66 goals in 56 matches for Madrid as well as in the Portuguese National team in 2013 to win another world-class award (the FIFA World Player of the Year was changed in 2010 to the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010). In 2014, he recorded 52 goals over 43 games and helped Madrid to win the Champions League title, which led to Ronaldo being awarded a second Ballon d’Or award. In 2014-15, he scored 48 goals and led La Liga in scoring. Ronaldo scored his 324th goal as a player of Real in October of 2015 in order to be the club’s all-time top goal scorer. Ronaldo scored 35 La Liga goals in
2015-16 and was instrumental in helping Real achieve its record-breaking eleventh Champions League title, and in December of 2016, he received his fourth season-long Ballon d’Or for his accomplishments. Ronaldo has scored 42 goals in the league for Real across all competitions during 2016-17 and helped lead his club towards La Liga and Champions League title that year, which led to a fifth Ballon d’Or award. In 2017-18, he had 44 points in 44 games, and Real took home a third consecutive Champions League title. In July 2018, he signed an agreement for four years that was worth EUR 112 million (about $132 million) with the Italian superstar Juventus. The club ended with his Real season with 311 points over 292 games. The striker scored 28 goals during the first season with Juventus — his lowest goal score in the country since his previous season at Manchester United. The club’s dynamite team was crowned its eighth consecutive Italian league championship.
In his homeland, after advancing between the youth and under-21 levels, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal’s national team in the match against Kazakhstan on August 3, 2003 (four days after making his debut with United). He was an integral player in Portugal’s fourth-place finish in the 2006 World Cup and was named the captain for the full-time of Portugal’s national team in the year 2008. In 2012, his impressive performance helped lead Portugal into the semi-finals of the European Championship, which was a defeat by rival Spain during a game which was decided via a penalty kick shootout. Ronaldo was in his 2014 World Cup hot off of his second World Player of the year title, but his performance in the tournament was sporadic, and the whole Portugal team was unable to perform in a group stage elimination. In 2016, he was instrumental in helping Portugal achieve their first European Championship, the country’s first major title at an international tournament; however, he played only sparingly in the final because of a knee strain suffered in the first half of the game. Ronaldo performed admirably during this year’s World Cup, scoring four goals in just four matches during the tournament. Portugal advanced to the knockout stage and lost the first game of the tournament to a formidable defense-minded Uruguay team.
Ronaldo was among the most famous sports athletes in the world off the field. Many studies on the level of popularity of athletes proved that he was among the most loved athletes on the planet at the time of his peak. His immense popularity earned Ronaldo one of the most highly-paid endorsers of all time. In November 2016, Ronaldo became the third athlete (after basketball superstars Michael Jordan and LeBron James) to be awarded a “lifetime” contract with the company that makes sportswear Nike. In addition, he launched his own highly successful “CR7” line of products which included underwear, shoes and perfumes. Ronaldo’s enormous marketability was at the center of a legal dispute that was raised in June of 2017. In June, the prosecutor’s office filed a suit that was a case of Ronaldo for cheating Spanish authorities by EUR14.7 million ($16.5 million) by concealing his image-rights income from Spain between 2011 and 2014. Ronaldo was accused of underestimating the revenue that he made from the sale or licensing of his rights to use images, as well as the tax obligations that go with it. However, Ronaldo denied the accusations. In June of 2018, the actor accepted a suspended two-year prison term and made payments of EUR 18.8 million ($21.8 million) to the Spanish government in order to resolve the matter.