Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro

What You Didn’t Know about Cristiano Ronaldo


Considered the best football player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo has also become one of the wealthiest too. But, it wasn’t always that way. He came from a modest upbringing from the small Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. Determined to pursue his dream of becoming the best football player, Ronaldo went to the mainland of Portugal without his family at the ripe age of 12 as his father, Jose Dinis Aveiro battled addiction with alcohol. Once on the mainland, Ronaldo and his young teammates were often ganged-up on by robbers. In one incident, as his fellow players ran away from the robbers, he stood up to the would-be thieves and fought back.

“A gang jumped on me and my team-mates in the street. The other players ran away but I stood up and fought – and the robbers didn’t get anything,” said Ronaldo.

In 2003, Ronaldo signed with Manchester United and wore the number seven jersey, which once belonged to former renowned players like Bryan Robson and David Beckham. In England, Ronaldo never forgot where he came from, or his family. He was close with his father and as a youth they would watch football games together. With his newfound wealth he tried to help Aveiro fight his addiction to alcohol by sending him to the best treatment centers, but in 2005 his father passed away before a match against Russia.  After getting the devastating news from his former coach in Portugal, Felipe Scolari and listening to Scolari’s story about losing his own father, Ronaldo went back on to the field and played the match against Russia, honoring his father the best way he knew how.

“He decided to play the match against Russia rather than fly back to Portugal immediately. I now think Ronaldo is not just the best player in the world, but the best person too,” said Scolari.

Earlier this year Ronaldo won his second FIFA Balloon d’Or in two years and the third for his career. Not one to get too comfortable, Ronaldo hopes to win more for years to come. Currently he plays for Real Madrid.

“I never thought I would win three Gold Balls. Fantastic. I want to win as many as possible. It’s hard, it’s very difficult to win. But everything is possible,” said Ronaldo.

Fun Facts:

  • His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro.
  • His middle name is “Ronaldo” because his dad was a fan of the actor Ronald Reagan, who later went on to become the 40th president of the United States.
  • Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart at 15-years-old. After having laser surgery for the condition which could have ended his career he continued practicing football a few days later.
  • He doesn’t drink alcohol.
  • When recruiters from Sporting C.P. Youth and Academy were searching for new football players Ronaldo was up against his childhood friend, Albert Fantrau, in a game where whoever scored the best out of three will be accepted to its club. When they were head-to-head in points Fantrau had the ball for the last shot, but passed it to Ronaldo who he thought was more deserving of the prize. Ronaldo got the shot in and was accepted into the academy. After Ronaldo thanked his friend for his successful career, reporters seeked out the unemployed Fantrau, who by their surprise lived in a lavish home with a fancy car. When asked how he was able to afford his lifestyle, he said “it’s from Cristiano.”

By Naeisha Rose

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Biography: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, (born 5 February 1985), commonly known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a winger or a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and serves as captain of the Portuguese national team. Ronaldo currently holds the distinction of being the most expensive player in football history after being transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer deal worth £80 million (€94m, US$132m). In addition, his contract with Real Madrid, in which he is to be paid £11 million per year over the following six years, makes him the highest paid football player in the world.

Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, then moved to Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting CP. Ronaldo’s precocious talent caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and he signed the 18-year-old for £12.24 million in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup, and reached the Euro 2004 final with Portugal, in which tournament he scored his first international goal.

In 2008, Ronaldo won the Champions League with United, and was named player of the tournament. He was named the FIFPro World Player of the Year and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming Manchester United’s first Ballon d’Or winner in 40 years. Three-time Ballon d’Or winner Johan Cruyff said in an interview on 2 April 2008, “Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United.”

On 15 June 2010, in Portugal’s opening 2010 FIFA World Cup match against Côte d’Ivoire, Ronaldo was tackled by right-back Guy Demel, which led to an argument and both being booked. The next day, Portugal contacted FIFA to suggest that Ronaldo’s yellow card be rescinded since he was “pulled into” the confrontation after having already moved away from the spot where he was tackled, but the appeal was rejected.

Ronaldo failed to make an impact in the World Cup; after going scoreless in the qualifiers, his only goal came in Portugal’s 7-0 group stage thrashing of North Korea on 21 June, which marked his first international goal in sixteen months. Portugal were ultimately eliminated by Spain in the round of sixteen.