Soccer's Most Iconic Forward
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese soccer forward who is celebrated as one of his generation's greatest players.
Born in Funchal, Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (February 5, 1985) became an instant sensation at the age of just 16 when he was paid $14 million by Manchester United, a record fee for any player of his age . At an imposing frame of 6 feet 1 inches, Ronaldo was an intimidating opponent who would mesmerize his opponents with his free-reign attacking style that combined electrifying speed with outstanding dribbles.
His finest moments came in the 2004 FA Cup final, where Ronaldo scored his team's first three goals and help them clinch the title in a nail-biting contest. Ronaldo would set a record for goals scored in 2008 at 42 in all competitions. After leading United to a Champions League Title, Ronaldo captured the FIFA World Player of the Year Honors for his stellar performance. Ronaldo's impressive footwork was the primary reason why United dominated the 2009 Champions League final .
During this time, Ronaldo was signed to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee worth $131 million . His scoring streak continued with Real Madrid and he secured the most goals in La Liga's history during the 2010-11 season (this record would be surpassed by rival Lionel Messi from Barcelona). Ronaldo played a pivotal role in helping Madrid capture their La Liga title and netted 46 goals.
In his 56 matches with Madrid, Ronaldo scored an impressive 66 goals and helped his national team to a 2013 victory. As a result of his performance, Ronaldo would win the FIFA Ballon d'Or. The following year was just as eventful for Ronaldo as he scored around 52 goals in just 43 games and led Real Madrid to yet another Champions League title. He won his second Ballon d'Or award.
In the 2014-15 season, Ronaldo bagged 48 goals to lead his team in terms of scoring. He scored his 324th goal as a player for Madrid, becoming their all-time leading goal scorer. He netted 35 La Liga goals in 2015-16, helping Real Madrid clinch their 11th Champions League victory, and in December 2016, won the fourth career Balloon d'Or for his part.
In 2016-16, Ronaldo scored 442 goals for Real Madrid and led his team to Champions League and La Liga titles that season, resulting in a fifth Ballon d'Or award. He continued his momentum into next year with 44 goals in just as many games, leading to Real scoring their third consecutive Champions League title.
He finished his career with Real Madrid at a score of 311 goals in 292 games . Ronaldo would sign a 4-year contract with Italy's powerhouse, Juventus worth $132 million . He would only score 28 goals in his 1st season with Juventus, the lowest he had since leaving Manchester United. Either way, Juventus would go on to secure their 8th Series A title, naming Ronaldo as the league's MVP in May 2019 .
2016 proved to be an emotional turning point for Ronaldo as he added one more victory to his collection. Ronaldo would lead the Portugal national team to the European Championship final against France. Despite sustaining an injury to the knee only 25 minutes into the match, Portugal clinched the championship title 1-0, their first-ever international trophy .
Ronaldo also played for the 2018 World Cup for the Portugal national team, making three goals in opening draws with Spain and Morocco.
Ronaldo's unique play style on the field increased his stardom and he became the most recognizable sports star off the field. Studies showed that he was the world's most beloved athlete during the peak of his career. Due to his popularity, it comes as no surprise that Ronaldo was one of the highest-paid celebrities in sports history. In November 2016, he signed a lifetime contract with Nike .
Cristiano Ronaldo Biography – Life Outside the Court
Cristiano Ronaldo – Personal Life
Cristiano Ronaldo was born and raised in Portugal. When he was just 15 years old, he underwent surgery to correct a disorder that caused him to have an irregular heartbeat. Doctors believed he would be unable to play soccer because of his 'racing heart'. However, after the surgery proved to be successful, Cristiano Ronaldo would go on to dominate the sports without suffering health complications.
Ronaldo had a five-year relationship with Russian model Irina Shayk. He welcomed his first son, Cristiano Jr., on June 17, 2010. He stated he had full custody of the child but would not reveal the mother's identity as per his agreement with her. Ronaldo then fathered daughter Eva and son Mateo, both born on June 8, 2017, in the US via a surrogate mother.
He met his current girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, at a Gucci store in Madrid, where she worked as a shop assistant. The couple welcomed their daughter Alana Martina on November 12, 2017.
Business and Other Ventures
Ronaldo earned over $109 million in 2019, based on a Forbes study , making him the second-highest athlete after Lionel Messi. The vast majority of that income came from endorsement deals with companies like Clear Haircare, Nike, and Tag Heuer. He also promoted a nutrition company Herbalife and a hair transplant company .
His social media following continues to grow at a staggering rate, with 241 million followers on Instagram and 123 million likes on Facebook . He also has a bulging investment portfolio, with interest ranging from a newly launched hair transplant venture to hotels.
His signature CR7 hotels are a dual venture with the Pestana Hotel Group, Portuguese's leading tourism company. Ronaldo also has stakes in two hotels in Portugal. His love for the fashion industry led to a diverse range of companies in the sector, including the UK-based Edan Parfums Cristiano Ronaldo Fragrances and his well-known CR7 range of underwear for adults and children, which he reportedly models after himself.
Ronaldo launched CR7 Crunch Fitness with the Crunch Franchise in 2016. The Juventus star intends to expand his fitness empire to around 150 establishments but currently only has two in Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo uses his stardom to raise money for various charities and organizations. His most notable donation came in 2011 when he auctioned his European Golden Boot off for a staggering £1.2 million. In December 211, he signed a shirt that sold for £31,000, with all of the proceeds going to Save the Children.
Ronaldo also works as an ambassador for World Vision and UNICEF. In 2014, Ronaldo shared his £450,000 bonus between various charitable organizations. Ronaldo was recognized as the most charitable sports star in the world by dosomething.org, which took into account his donations to charities and associations with various groups in 2015.