Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Portugal. In 2008, he won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He then won the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Ronaldo scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country.

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in Santo António, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. He is the son of Maria Dolores dos Santos and José Dinis Aveiro. He has an older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia. Liliana Cátia is a singer with the stage name of Lorenzo in Portugal. His middle name, Ronaldo is relatively rare in Portugal, but his parents named him this way in honor of former U.S. President, Ronald Reagan. Since childhood, his father enrolled him in a sports club, and at the age of 14, Ronaldo decided to focus on the football career.

At Sporting Lisbon, Cristiano played 25 matches, in which he scored 3 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo was promoted at the team by Romanian coach, László Bölöni, while he was only 16 years old. Ronaldo joined Sporting’s youth players, who were training in Alcochete, and there he received valuable instruction. The coaches from Sporting Lisbon had realized that Ronaldo needed more support and arranged things for his mother to join him. He debuted for the first team against Moreirense, scoring two goals. He also featured in Portugal’s U17 team at the European Youth Championship.

His developments from UEFA U-17 Championship drew the attention of football clubs worldwide. He was at first observed by former Liverpool coach, Gérard Houllier, when he was only 16 years old. However, Liverpool refused him because he was considered too young and inexperienced. But Cristiano Ronaldo has also attracted the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting defeated Manchester United by 3-1 on the inauguration day of the “Estadio José Alvalade” stadium in Lisbon. Ronaldo has demonstrated his ability to play on both flanks. After the game, Manchester United’s players spoke enthusiastically about the young talent, saying that they would prefer to play with him in the team, rather than having to play against him in the future.

In the 2006-2007 season, Cristiano scored 20 goals for the first time in a season. Although there were rumours that Real Madrid will sign him for 80 million €, he remained at Manchester United. In the 2007-2008 season, Ronaldo was the second footballer in the race for the Golden Boot, after Brazilian, Kaká. On 15 November 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st goals for Manchester United at home, against Stoke City, both from free kicks. He won the Golden Boot on 2 December, becoming the first player of the Devils to succeed in this conquest, after George Best in 1968. On 11 June 2009, Manchester United accepted the offer from Real Madrid, consisting of 80 million £. After arriving in Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo said that Sir Alex Ferguson was for him just like a father in sports.

On 26 June 2009, Real Madrid confirmed that Ronaldo will join the club on 1 July 2009, being bought from Manchester United for the sum of 94 million €, becoming thus the most expensive transfer in football history. Ronaldo then signed a 6 year contract with a salary of 11 million € per year, having a termination clause of 1 billion €. He was introduced to the press as a Real Madrid player on 6 July, with the number 9 shirt. Ronaldo’s shirt was presented by legendary Real Madrid player, Alfredo Di Stéfano. Ronaldo was welcomed by 80.000 to 85.000 fans at his presentation on the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, surpassing Diego Maradona’s record of 75.000 fans when he was introduced in Italy after his transfer from Barcelona to Napoli in 1984. The event was broadcasted live by Spanish and Portuguese public television, RTVE and RTP respectively.

On 20 April 2011, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey against Barcelona. He is the first Real Madrid player to overcome, with 51 goals, the record of 47 goals per season established by Hungaryan Ferenc Puskás in the 1959-1960 season. Cristiano ended the season with 40 goals in La Liga and obtained the title of Pichichi. On 4 November, Ronaldo won for the second time in his career the Golden Boot Award, previously won in 2008, as the European top scorer of the season. Ronaldo won the award with 40 goals and 80 points overall, surpassing Lionel Messi and Antonio Di Natale. On 2 May 2012, Cristiano Ronaldo won his first Spanish league title with Real Madrid, in the match won against Athletic Bilbao by 3-0.

In 2006 he participated at the World Cup in Germany. Against Iran, on 17 June, he scored his first goal of the tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo finished the World Cup with 6 appearances, Portugal occupying the 4th place after losing in the small final against Germany. In 2014, Cristiano bypassed Pauleta and became Portugal’s best scorer with 49 goals, while on 14 November, he became the leading scorer in the history of the European championships, including qualifications, with 23 goals. In the 2014 World Cup, Portugal didn’t pass by the group stage.

In 2016, he won the European Championship held in France. After a lackluster start, marked by little clarity and even a missed penalty, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the match against Hungary, in the third match of the group stage, allowing the Lusitanian side to qualify to the knockout stage as one of the best third teams from the group. He contributed to the squad’s progress to the final, by initializing the goal scored by Ricardo Quaresma in the second round against Croatia, marking the first penalty shot against Poland in the quarter-finals and opening the scoring sheet in the semi-final against Wales. During the final against France, following a crunching tackle by Dimitri Payet, he was forced to leave the field in the 25th minute of the first half. Despite his departure from the field, Portugal managed to win 1-0, thanks to the decisive goal scored by Éder during extra time. Portugal thus won its first European Championship in history.

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