Net Worth: $320 million
Cristiano Ronaldo, known among his fans and across the world as CR7, has become one of the greatest footballers of this generation; his fast-paced and technically-talented style of play, with his unique ability to score wonderful goals, has made him a top player. He's won numerous accolades in the football world in the process, among them being the highly coveted FIFA’s Ballon d’Or which he has won three times in his playing career.
His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, being born on a small island off the western coast of Madeira in the city of Funchal. His father – José Dinis Aveiro – was a municipal gardener and the mother, Maria Dolores, dos Santos Aveiro was a cook. His father named him “Ronaldo” after the then-USA president Ronald Reagan.
His Catholic family were not well-off financially; he used to share a room with his elder siblings Hugo, Elma and Liliana. Sadly, he lost his father in the year 2005. At school he was popular but was eventually expelled after he assaulted his teacher by throwing a chair at him. He always had an interest in football since his childhood and by the time he was 14 years old he decided to work on becoming a professional footballer.
When he was 15, he was diagnosed with tachycardia – a heart condition where the heart beats faster than normal – but after undergoing a successful operation (catheter ablation) and further treatment, Cristiano resumed playing after just a few days. Since then has been an exceptional player developing in skill and physicality to become one of the greatest sportsmen of our time.
From a very young age, Cristiano Ronaldo found a passion for football; with his life being all about the sport. His godfather Fernao Sousa once told an English reporter that Cristiano loved football so much he would miss meals or escape out of his bedroom with a ball when he was supposed to be doing his homework.
Cristiano Ronaldo began his football career at the tender age of 8 years playing for a local non-professional football club known as Andhorina, where his father worked as an equipment manager for two years. At the age of 10, he signed up with local side Nacional where he spent two years.
Cristiano Ronaldo has undergone tactical developments throughout his playing career. He has gone from playing in the midfield, as an attacking midfielder, to playing as winger on the right side of midfield where he has developed his dribbling skills. He’s also developed a good pace on the ball, making him a very efficient and versatile player who regularly delivers inch-perfect crosses into the penalty area and scores glorious strikes. Ronaldo became increasingly popular for his dribbling, displaying amazing tricks, talent and great technical skills.
At the age of 12 years, Cristiano Ronaldo went on a three-day trial with ‘Sporting CP’, a professional football club in the Portuguese league based in Lisbon. He had a successful trial and Sporting Cp signed him for £1,500 into their academy. By the age of 14, Ronaldo focused his life entirely on football.
After spending two years in the youth team, the then-Sporting CP manager László Bölöni was impressed with Ronaldo’s dribbling skills and he subsequently promoted him to the Sporting CP senior team. In that year, Cristiano Ronaldo set a record of being the first player to play in the Sporting CP’s under-16, under-17, under-18, B team and the first team all in one season.
On October 7 2002, in his full debut against Moreirense in the Portuguese Primera Liga, he scored twice in a 3 – 0 victory for Sporting CP. Over the course of the 2002/2003 season, Ronaldo exhibited great quality and talent on the pitch and a host of top European clubs such as Barcelona, Liverpool and Arsenal expressed interest in signing him.
In August 2003, in an inaugural match at the new stadium Estádio José Alvalade, Sporting CP were playing against Manchester United. Ronaldo’s skills and talent caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, the then-Manchester United manager, who described him as one of the most exciting young players he had ever seen. Sporting CP went on to win the match three goals to one and later on that month Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £12.24 million. Later on in the year 2013, Sporting CP honoured him by announcing him as their 100,000th member.
Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Manchester United as the most expensive teenager to be signed for a record fee at that time. He joined Manchester United at the beginning of the 2003/2004 season and adapted to the English premier league almost instantly. In the same season he pulled off very impressive displays on the field in his iconic number 7 shirt. He had originally opted for number 28 which he was wearing before in Sporting CP but Sir Alex Ferguson insisted on the number 7 shirt which had been worn previously by stars like David Beckham and Eric Cantona. After his star displays the nickname CR7 was born – being his initials and his shirt number.
He made his debut for Manchester United as a substitute against Bolton Wanderers in a 4-0 home victory and his first goal for Manchester United was a superb free-kick in a 3-0 win against Portsmouth in November 2003. He pulled one of the finest performances that season against Millwall FC in the 2004 FA cup final, scoring Manchester United’s first goal and leading the team to a final victory and claiming his first trophy in Manchester United.
He scored the 1000th Manchester goal in a 4-1 loss to Middlesborough on October 2004. He had a very good 2006/2007 season and as a result of his performances, he became the first player ever to win the Professional Footballers’ Association‘s Player’s Player, Fans’ Player, and Young Player of the Year awards, as well as the Football Writers’ Association‘s Footballer of the Year award in a single season.
At the end of the 2008/2009 season he was voted the best player in the world and became the first premier league player to win the Ballon D’Or. This was his last season in the premier league and he scored 26 goals before signing up with Real Madrid.
He left Manchester United having won three premier league titles, two carling cups, one FA cup, one community shield title, one FIFA club world cup and one UEFA champions league trophy as well as numerous individual awards.
Cristiano Ronaldo signed up with Real Madrid CF before the beginning of the 2009/2010 season at a world record fee of £80 million, his contract which ran up to 2015 saw him pocket a whopping €11 million in a year.
He made his Real Madrid debut in 3-2 home win against Deportivo La Coruna where he scored his first Madrid goal from the penalty spot. In the same season, while on international duty with Portugal, Ronaldo suffered an ankle injury which kept him on the sidelines for seven weeks. He had a good return after his injury, scoring important goals for Madrid including his first hat-trick against Mallorca in a 4–1 home win towards the end of the season.Overall he scored a total of 33 goals for Real Madrid that year.
In the following season, Ronaldo was handed his favorite shirt number, following the departure of Raul Gonzalez another Real Madrid legend. In the 2010/2011 season, Ronaldo scored four goals in a 6-1 win against Racing Santander. Despite his tremendous goals and fantastic displays Cristiano Ronaldo failed to make it to the podium for that year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or. This was the only year in his playing career in Spain that he failed to make to the list of the top players in the world.
The following two seasons saw him becoming the world’s best player, winning two successive FIFA Ballon d’Or accolades in the process. In the 2014/2015 season, Ronaldo scored a total of 61 goals in all competitions; this is his personal best achievement.
He is currently playing for Real Madrid; during his time there he has won 2 Copa Del Rey cups, 1 La Liga title, 2 Supercopa de Espana cups and 2 UEFA Champions League Titles, as well as a host of individual awards including 2 Pichichi (Spanish League Top Scorer) awards and 2 FIFA Ballon d’ Or awards
Cristiano Ronaldo has played for his national side Portugal since 2001 when he started out in the national’s youth team. He began is senior career at the age of 18 years when he played against Kazakhstan in August 2003, a game in which Portugal won a goal to nill. Since then he’s had 133 appearances for his national side, scoring 61 goals in the process.
He played in the 2004 Euro Championship held on his home soil, the first major tournament in his senior career. He then played for Portugal in the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 Euro Championship, the 2010 World Cup (where he was the team’s captain), the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 edition of the Euro Championship where he led his team in winning the tournament; the first major title for him under the national side.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a fairly reserved person in his private life, and this has helped him evade many controversies in the showbiz and the stardom world. Despite this, early on during his life in England, he was involved in a sex scandal in which he was accused of rape; he was arrested and released on bail but later he was acquitted of charges by the Scotland Yard for lack of evidence.
Cristiano Ronaldo has dated Alice Goodwin, Gemma Atkinson – both English models – while he was playing for Manchester United.
In 2010 he started dating Irina Shayk, a Russian model, whom he met through Armani exchange campaigns. He dated Irina till 2014 when they ended their relationship. Since then Ronaldo has kept very quiet about his romantic relationships.
In June 2010, Christiano Ronaldo announced the birth of his son Cristiano Ronaldo Junior whom he claimed to have all parental rights to. His mother is yet to be known publicly and Ronaldo has chosen to remain tightlipped concerning the mother of his child.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a good taste fashion; he owns the CR7 store, a fashion house based in Lisbon. He has his own clothing line of CR7 footwear, the CR7 shirts and the CR7 underwear.
CR7 Footwear is composed of shoes such as Grunge Sneaker, Waves Derby, Flamenco Derby, Flamenco Loafer, CR7 Jazz Dressy, Salsa Ducksider among others. Cristiano Ronaldo models and promotes his footwear across many avenues and he is also planning to release a his own perfume soon. The CR7 Underwear and the CR7 Shirts are becoming increasingly popular in the fashion world and the clothing line is earning him a lot of money.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been ranked the world’s most paid football player twice by Forbes. In the 2013/2014 season he earned a total of $73 million from club salaries and bonuses, endorsement deals and off-field earnings. At the end of the 2015/2016 season, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first ever footballer to top the ‘best paid athletes in the world’ with total earnings adding up to $89 million from club salaries and endorsement deals. In June 2016, ESPN named Cristiano Ronaldo as the most famous athlete in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo has numerous endorsement deals around the world. Some of the companies he is working with include; Coca-Cola, Motorola, watch makers Tag Heuer, Fly Emirates, Samsung and Castrol.
Apart from his regular blood donations, Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in philanthropy and charity campaigns; Ronaldo visited Aceh, Indonesia, to raise funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami which caused great destruction in the country. This was after a video emerged of a young boy wearing Cristiano’s Portugal shirt. The boy had been stranded for 19 days after his family had been killed. In 2012, Ronaldo paid for specialist treatment for a nine-year-old Canarian boy who was suffering from terminal cancer. In the same year, Ronaldo sold his 2011 Golden boot for €1.5 million and gave the money to fund education for children in Gaza. Ronaldo appeared In FIFA’s “11 against Ebola” campaign with a selection of top football players from around the world in November 2014; the campaign which was done in conjunction with the Confederation of African Football, health experts and world football body FIFA, was geared towards combating Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In June 2016, Ronaldo donated the entirety of his €600,000 Champions League bonus after Real Madrid won the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League to Charity. In 2015, Ronaldo was named the world’s most charitable sportsperson.
- Cristiano Ronaldo The Rise of a Winner- Michael Part
- Cristiano Ronaldo The Biography- Guillem Balague