Cristiano RonaldoPortuguese Footballer
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a forward for Manchester United.
• Date of birth: 5 February 1985
• Age: 38 years old
• Place of birth: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
• Nationality: Portuguese
• Position: Forward
• Height: 187cm / 6ft 2ins
• Weight: 85kg / 187 lbs
• Transfer value: £12.86m (2021)
• Wages: £385,000 per week (reported)
• Net worth: £363m (reported)
Ronaldo, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, started his professional career at Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon before he moved to Manchester United in 2003.
He blossomed into one of the world’s greatest players at Old Trafford, winning three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the Champions League and the two League Cups.
The Portuguese forward – who has won five Ballon d’Or awards – moved to Real Madrid in an £80m deal in 2009 summer transfer window, which was a world-record fee at the time.
Ronaldo firmly established himself as a Real Madrid legend after becoming the club’s record goal-scorer while winning two La Liga crowns, two Copa del Rey trophies and four Champions League titles.
He made his senior international debut for Portugal in a 1–0 victory over Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003. He helped them to win Euro 2016 despite coming off injured in the final.
So, how much do you know about Ronaldo’s journey to becoming one of football’s greatest-ever players? This is his story.
Ronaldo went on a three-day trial at Sporting Lisbon in 1997 when he was 12 years old, before the Portuguese club signed the winger in a £1,500 deal.
He became the first player to play for the club’s under-16, under-17 and under-18 teams, the B team, and the first team, all within one season in 2001.
Ronaldo made his senior Sporting Lisbon debut and scored two goals in a 3-0 win over Moreirense on 7 October 2002.
His representatives reportedly offered Ronaldo to Arsenal, Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona during the 2002-03 season.
However, he caught the eye of Manchester United following an impressive performance in a friendly in August 2003. He scored two goals against the Red Devils to prompt Sir Alex Ferguson’s players to urge their manager to sign Ronaldo.
Manchester United signed Ronaldo in a £12.24m deal from Sporting Lisbon in August 2003.
He was handed Manchester United’s prestigious number seven shirt, following in the footsteps of the likes of David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best.
Ronaldo made his Manchester United debut on 16 August 2003 when he came on as a second-half substitute for Nicky Butt in a 4-0 win over Bolton Wanderers in their opening Premier League game at Old Trafford.
His first goal for the Red Devils came in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth after he netted a free-kick. Ronaldo and Manchester United won the FA Cup that season thanks to a 1-0 win over Millwall in the final.
Cristiano finished with 10 goals and four assists in all competitions in 2003-04.
Ronaldo was often criticised for a lack of an end-product and showboating at the start of his Manchester United career.
However, he built on a solid debut season in the 2004-05 campaign with five goals in the Premier League. Ronaldo reached his second FA Cup final but Manchester United lost to Arsenal on penalties.
Ronaldo started to realise his potential in the 2005-06 season when the forward scored nine times in the Premier League. Manchester United fell short of Chelsea FC in the title race.
Having missed out to Arsenal and Chelsea FC in his opening three seasons in the Premier League, Ronaldo finally helped to fire Manchester United to title glory in 2006-07.
He scored 26 times in all competitions, including 17 league goals, to help the Red Devils win the Premier League crown.
Ronaldo scored in six successive games in November and December before he found the net in five consecutive league outings in January to help Manchester United dominate. Manchester United lost 1-0 to Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
He netted two goals in a 7-1 victory over AS Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals but Ronaldo struggled to have an impact against AC Milan in the last four.
The Portugal international struck up devastating understandings with Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez in the Manchester United team.
The trio were vital in the 2007-08 season, which ended with Manchester United securing Premier League and Champions League glory.
Ronaldo scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United in a 6-0 win over Newcastle in January 2008.
Ferguson handed Cristiano the captain’s armband for the first time in a 2-0 win over Bolton in February.
He finished the season with 31 goals and seven assists in the Premier League to help the Red Devils win the title.
After finding the net against Lyon and AS Roma in the knockout stage, Cristiano scored the opener against Chelsea FC in the Champions League final. While he missed his penalty in the shootout, Manchester United were still crowned champions.
He finished the season with 42 goals in all competitions. His sparkling form was promoting newspaper speculation linking him with a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid.
However, Ferguson managed to persuade Ronaldo to remain at Manchester United for one more season.
He scored his 100th goal for Manchester United in a 5-0 win over Stoke City in November 2008. Ronaldo finished a prolific year by helping the Red Devils to win the Fifa Club World Cup.
Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or for the first time in January 2009.
In the Champions League, he scored in Manchester United’s victories over Inter Milan, Porto and Arsenal in the knockout stage to help the Red Devils reach their second successive final.
Manchester United lost 2-1 to FC Barcelona in the Champions League showpiece but managed to see off Liverpool FC’s title charge to win the Premier League, adding to their League Cup triumph.
Real Madrid signed Ronaldo in a world-record £80m deal from Manchester United in the 2009 summer transfer window. A staggering 80,000 fans attended his presentation at The Bernabeu.
Ronaldo was initially handed the number nine shirt as club legend Raul was occupying the number seven at the time.
Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot on his Real Madrid debut to help his side secure a 3-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
He scored 33 times in all competitions in his debut season in the Spanish capital but didn’t win a trophy.
Real Madrid appointed Jose Mourinho as their manager in 2010 as los Blancos looked to end FC Barcelona’s dominance of Spanish football.
Ronaldo, now wearing the number seven shirt after Raul’s exit, scored four times in a 6-1 win over Racing Santander in October 2010.
Cristiano netted 11 times in six successive games before he remarkably scored hat-tricks against Athletic Bilbao, Levante, Villarreal, and Malaga.
However, he was left disappointed in La Liga and the Champions League due to FC Barcelona’s brilliance. Real Madrid won the 2011 Copa del Rey thanks to Ronaldo’s winner in a 1-0 victory over their bitter rivals FC Barcelona in the final.
Ronaldo finished the 2010-11 campaign with 53 goals in 50 games.
The Portugal international went one step better in the following season, scoring an incredible 60 times in all competitions, including his 100th strike for Real Madrid.
Los Blancos lost 4-3 to FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey quarter-final and Ronaldo had a penalty saved in the shootout as they lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals.
However, Cristiano finally ended his wait to get his hands on the La Liga trophy in 2011-12. He scored 46 goals and made 12 assists in 37 games during the campaign.
Ronaldo scored in both legs of the Spanish Super Cup as Real Madrid beat FC Barcelona at the start of the 2012-13 season.
Cristiano netted his first Champions League hat-trick in a 4-1 win against Dutch club Ajax on 3 October 2012 just three days after he scored three times in a 6-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.
The Portuguese forward took 197 games to score 200 goals for Real Madrid – a feat he confirmed in a 6-2 win over Malaga in May 2013.
Ronaldo scored in a 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final before he was sent off. Real Madrid relinquished their La Liga title to FC Barcelona.
In the Champions League, Cristiano scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in his first game back at Old Trafford in March 2013 as Real Madrid eliminated his former club from the competition. However, los Blancos lost to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-finals.
Ronaldo ended the season without silverware despite scoring 55 times.
Gareth Bale’s arrival provided Ronaldo with competition to be the team’s main main in the 2013-14 campaign. He still signed a new three-year deal with Real Madrid at the start of the season.
Cristiano made his mark on the field with 32 goals in 22 games for club and country by the start of November.
Ronaldo missed the Copa del Rey final due to injury but Real Madrid still emerged 2-1 winners against FC Barcelona.
He was instrumental in helping Real Madrid to finally achieve La Decima – their 10th European Cup. Ronaldo scored against Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich en route to the final.
He netted Real Madrid’s third goal in extra time in a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid as he scored for the 54th time in 52 games in the 2013-14 season.
Although Ronaldo turned 30 during the 2014-15 campaign, he finished the season with career-best figures of 60 goals and 21 assists in 50 games in all competitions.
Real Madrid lost out to Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals.
Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s all-time record goal-scorer when he netted five times in a 6-0 rout of Espanyol. He surpassed Raul with his 324th goal, and he netted an incredible 203 times in just 203 La Liga games.
He reached 500 career goals in all competitions for club and country when he scored twice in a victory over Malmo in the Champions League in September 2015.
He struggled with some fitness issues in the second half of the season but scored the winning penalty to secure another victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.
Cristiano made a slow start to the 2016-17 season following a knee injury he suffered at Euro 2016.
On 7 November 2016, he signed a new lucrative contract to keep him at Real Madrid until 2021.
Ronaldo enjoyed a great end to the year, bagging a second Fifa World Club Cup and a fourth Ballon d’Or award.
In the Champions League knockout phase, he scored twice in a 2-1 away win at Bayern Munich in the first leg before netting a hat-trick in the Spanish capital to secure Real Madrid’s place in the last four.
His incredible Champions League form continued when he netted another treble against Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.
Ronaldo scored two goals in their 4-1 win against Juventus in the final to secure the club’s 12th European Cup and his third Champions League title.
Cristiano struggled to find form at the start of the 2017-18 season but did score twice against Dortmund to take his overall Real Madrid tally to 411 goals in 400 games.
He became the first player to score in all six Champions League group stage games in the 2017-18 season.
Ronaldo netted his 300th La Liga goal in a 3-1 win over Getafe to become the second player to reach the milestone behind Lionel Messi.
The Portuguese star then scored an incredible overhead kick in Real Madrid’s 3-0 demolition of Juventus in their Champions League quarter-final. Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich in the semi-finals before a 3-1 victory over Liverpool FC in the Kiev final on 26 May 2018, with Ronaldo claiming his fourth Champions League winner’s medal.
Ronaldo signed for Juventus on 10 July 2018 on a four-year deal, in a transfer believed to be worth around €100m.
During his time at the Serie A club, he won two league titles, one Coppa Italia and twice triumphed in the Supercoppa Italiana.
Return To Manchester United
Ronaldo sealed a dramatic return to Manchester United from Juventus in the summer 2021 transfer window.
On 27 August 2021, Manchester United announced that they had reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign Ronaldo, for a deal now believed to be worth around £12.86m.
He signed an initial two-year contract, with the option for a further year.
Ronaldo made his senior Portugal debut in a 1–0 victory over Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003.
He scored in Portugal’s 2-1 loss to Greece in their opening game of Euro 2004. He dispatched a penalty in their quarter-final shootout victory over England before finding the net against the Netherlands in the semi-finals.
However, Ronaldo’s first major tournament ended in disappointment when Portugal lost 1-0 to Greece in the Euro 2004 final on home soil.
He helped Portugal to reach the 2006 World Cup semi-finals after scoring against Iran. However, France were 1-0 winners against Ronaldo and company in the last four.
Ronaldo captained Portugal at Euro 2008 but the forward struggled to find his goal-scoring form as his team lost 3-2 to Germany in the quarter-finals.
He also struggled to find the net at the 2010 World Cup despite being named man of the match in their opening three group-stage games. Portugal lost 1-0 to eventual champions Spain in the round of 16.
Spain beat Portugal again, this time in the Euro 2012 semi-finals, and Ronaldo was criticised after he failed to take a spot-kick in the shootout.
Cristiano earned his 100th cap in a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland in October 2012. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 win over Sweden to secure Portugal’s place at the 2014 World Cup. He became his country’s all-time record goal-scorer when he surpassed Pauleta’s 47 goals in a 5-1 win against Cameroon.
Portugal were eliminated at the group stage, with Ronaldo struggling with a knee issue.
Ronaldo made a slow start to Euro 2016 but he scored and made an assist in a 2-0 victory over Wales in the last four.
He helped his side win Euro 2016 despite being substituted in the 25th minute of Portugal’s 1-0 extra-time win over France at the Stade de France. He lifted the European championship as his country celebrated their first triumph at a major tournament.
Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening World Cup game, including a brilliant equalising free-kick.
On 1 September 2021, Ronaldo scored two goals in a 2–1 home win against the Republic of Ireland. This feat saw him pass Iran’s Ali Daei as the top international goal-scorer of all time with 109 goals for Portugal.
Personal Life And Net Worth
Ronaldo’s father Jose Dinis Aveiro died aged 52 in September 2005 due to a liver condition. Ronaldo was 20 years old at Manchester United at the time of his father’s passing.
The Portuguese legend has credited Sir Alex Ferguson as being a father figure in his career.
Ronaldo was in the media spotlight during his long-term relationship with Russian model Irina Shayk. The pair broke up in 2015.
Cristiano has four children. He became a father for the first time in 2010, naming his first son Cristiano Junior.
In July 2017, Ronaldo confirmed on Facebook that he had become the father of twins – daughter Eva and son Mateo.
His current girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez then gave birth to their daughter Alana Martina at the end of 2017.
Ronaldo is reported to have a net worth of around $500m (£363m) but this figure is not confirmed.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Did You Know?
• Ronaldo has scored in all competitions in which he has participated in Portugal, England and Spain – except in the English Community Shield and the Europa League.
• His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro.
• Ronaldo’s father Jose Dinis Aveiro, was a gardener and his mother, Maria, was a cook and a cleaner.