Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OI; born 5 February 1985commonly known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a winger or a forward for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and serves as captain of the Portuguese national team. Ronaldo is the most expensive player in football history after moving 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. holds the distinction of being the first player to win the FIFA Puskás Award, an honour handed by FIFA to the best goal of the year. He scored that goal from 40 yards out against FC Porto in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final match, while still playing for Manchester United.
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 Clube de Portugal. 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."
* 1 Early life
* 2 Club career
o 2.1 Early career
o 2.2 Sporting CP
o 2.3 Manchester United
+ 2.3.1 2003–2006
+ 2.3.2 2006–2009
o 2.4 Real Madrid
+ 2.4.1 2009–10 season
+ 2.4.2 2010–11 season
* 3 International career
o 3.1 2006 World Cup
+ 3.1.1 Post-World Cup
o 3.2 Euro 2008
o 3.3 2010 World Cup
o 3.4 International goals
* 4 Career statistics
o 4.1 Club
o 4.2 International
* 5 Honours
o 5.1 Club
o 5.2 Individual
+ 5.2.1 Orders
* 6 Personal life
* 7 Philanthropy
* 8 References
* 9 External links
Ronaldo was born on 5 February 1985 in Santo António, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener. His second given name, "Ronaldo", was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favourite actor. He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia.
At the age of eight, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man. In 1995, Ronaldo signed with local club Nacional, and, after a title-winning campaign, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.
Ronaldo joined Sporting's other youth players who trained at the Academia Sporting, the club's football academy, in Alcochete. He became the only player ever to play for Sporting's under-16, under-17, under-18, B-team, and the first team, all within one season. He scored two goals in his league debut on 7 October 2002, which Sporting CP won 3–0 against Moreirense, while featuring for Portugal in the 2002 European Under-17 Championship.
When he was 15, Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that might have forced him to give up playing football. The Sporting staff were made aware of the condition and Ronaldo's mother gave her authorisation for him to go into hospital. While there, he had an operation in which a laser was used to cauterise the area of his heart that was causing the problem. The surgery took place in the morning and Ronaldo was discharged from hospital by the end of the afternoon; he resumed training only a few days later.
He was first spotted by then-Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier at the age of 16, but Liverpool declined to take him on because they decided he was too young and needed some time to develop his skills. However, he came to the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting defeated United 3–1 in the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Ronaldo's performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him.
Ronaldo with Manchester United in April 2006
Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for €15 million (£12.24 million) after the 2002–03 season. He requested the number 28 (his number at Sporting), as he did not want the pressure of living up to the expectation linked to the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by players such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham. "After I joined, the manager asked me what number I'd like. I said 28. But Ferguson said 'No, you're going to have No. 7,' and the famous shirt was an extra source of motivation. I was forced to live up to such an honour."
Ronaldo made his team debut as a 60th-minute substitute in a 4–0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers. He scored his first goal for Manchester United with a free kick in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November 2003. Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United's 3-0 FA Cup final victory over Millwall.
He scored United's 1000th Premier League goal on 29 October 2005 in a 4–1 loss to Middlesbrough. He scored ten goals in all competitions, and fans voted him to his first FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award in 2005.
Ronaldo won his second trophy in English football in the 2005–06 season, scoring the third goal in Manchester United's 4-0 Football League Cup final victory over Wigan Athletic.
Ronaldo with United during their 2006–2007 season.
The 2006-2007 season proved to be the breakout year for Ronaldo, as he broke the 20 goal barrier for the first time and picked up his first league title with Manchester United.
In November and December 2006, Ronaldo received consecutive Barclays Player of the Month honours, becoming only the third player in Premier League history to do so after Dennis Bergkamp in 1997 and Robbie Fowler in 1996. He scored his 50th Manchester United goal against city rivals Manchester City on 5 May 2007 as United claimed their first Premier League title in four years, and he was voted into his second consecutive FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award at the end of the year.
Despite rumours circulating in March 2007 that Real Madrid were willing to pay an unprecedented €80 million (£54 million) for Ronaldo, he signed a five-year, £120,000-a-week (£31 million total) extension with United on 13 April, making him the highest-paid player in team history.
Ronaldo amassed a host of personal awards for the season. He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards, joining Andy Gray (in 1977) as the only players to receive this honour. In April, he completed the treble by winning the PFA Fans' Player of the Year. Ronaldo was also one of eight Manchester United players named in the 2006–07 PFA Premier League Team of the Year.