Cristiano Ronaldo, OIHÂ (Portuguese pronunciation: [kÉ¾É¨ÊƒËˆtiÉnu ÊuËˆnaÉ«du]; born 5 February 1985)Â is a PortugueseÂ footballer who plays as a wingerÂ for Spanish club Real Madrid and serves as captain of the Portuguese national team. Ronaldo currently holds the distinction of being the most expensive player in football history after having transferred to Real Madrid from Manchester United in a deal worth Â£80 million (â‚¬94m, US$132m). His contract with Real Madrid is believed to have made him the highest-paid football player in the world.
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 Â£12.24 million in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup, and reached the UEFA Euro 2004 final with Portugal, in which tournament he scored his first international goal.
In 2008, Ronaldo won his first UEFA Champions League title, 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."
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on 5 February 1985 in Santo AntÃ³nio, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and JosÃ© 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 CÃ¡tia.
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 Clube de Portugal, who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.
Ronaldo joined Sporting's other youth players who trained at the Alcochete, the club's football academy. He became the only player ever to play for Sporting's U-16, U-17, U-18, B-team, and first team, all within one season. He scored two goals in his Sporting debut against Moreirense, while featuring for Portugal in the 2002 UEFA 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 GÃ©rard Houllier at 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 3â€“1 in the inauguration of the EstÃ¡dio JosÃ© Alvalade in Lisbon. Ronaldo's performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him.
Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for Â£12.24 million after the 2002â€“03 season.Â 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 3â€“0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November 2003. He scored United's 1000th Premier League goal on 29 October 2005 in a 4â€“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.
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.Â 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 â‚¬80 million (Â£54 million) for Ronaldo, he signed a five-year, Â£120,000-a-week (Â£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 2006â€“07 PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
Ronaldo's 2007â€“08 season began with a red card for a headbutt on Portsmouth player Richard Hughes during United's second match of the season, for which he was punished with a three-match ban.Â Ronaldo said he had "learned a lot" from the experience and would not let players "provoke" him in the future.Â After scoring the only goal in a Champions League away match against Sporting, Ronaldo also scored the injury-time winner in the return fixture as Manchester United topped their Champions League group.
He finished as the runner-up to KakÃ¡ for the 2007 Ballon d'Or, and was third in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, behind KakÃ¡ and Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo scored his first hat trick for Manchester United in a 6â€“0 win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on 12 January 2008, bringing Manchester United up to the top of the Premier League table.Â He scored his twenty-third league goal of the season in a 2â€“0 win against Reading, equalling his entire total for the 2006â€“07 season.Â During a 1â€“1 Champions League first knockout round draw against Lyon on 20 February, an unidentified Lyon supporter continuously aimed a green laser at Ronaldo and United teammate Nani, prompting an investigation by UEFA.Â One month later, Lyon were fined CHF5,000 (Â£2,427) for the incident.
On 19 March 2008, Ronaldo captained United for the first time in his career in a home win over Bolton, scoring both goals in the 2â€“0 victory. The second of the goals was his 33rd of the campaign, which set a new club single-season scoring record by a midfielder and thus topped George Best's forty-year-old total of 32 goals in the 1967â€“68 season. Ronaldo scored another brace in a 4â€“0 win over Aston Villa on 29 March, which at the time gave him 35 goals in 37 domestic and European matches as both a starter and substitute. Ronaldo's torrid scoring streak was rewarded with his becoming the first winger to win the 2007â€“08 European Golden Shoe, finishing eight points ahead of Mallorca's Dani GÃ¼iza.
In the 2007â€“08 Champions League final on 21 May against league rivals Chelsea, Ronaldo scored the opening goal after 26 minutes, which was negated by a Chelsea equaliser in the 45th minute as the match ended 1â€“1 after extra time. His misfire in the penalty shoot-out put Chelsea in position to win the trophy, but John Terry shot wide right after slipping on the pitch surface, and Manchester United emerged victorious 6â€“5 on penalties. Ronaldo was named the UEFA Fans' Man of the Match, and wrapped up the campaign with a career-high 42 goals in all competitions, falling just four short of Denis Law's team-record mark of 46 in the 1963â€“64 season.
On 5 June 2008, Sky Sports reported that Ronaldo had expressed an interest in moving to Real Madrid if they offered him the same amount of money the team had allegedly promised him earlier in the year.Â Manchester United filed a tampering complaint with FIFA on 9 June over Madrid's alleged pursuit of Ronaldo, but FIFA declined to take any action.Â Speculation that a transfer would happen continued until 6 August, when Ronaldo confirmed that he would stay at Manchester for at least another year.
Ronaldo underwent ankle surgery at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam on 7 July. He returned to action on 17 September in United's UEFA Champions League goalless group-stage draw with Villarreal as a substitute for Park Ji-Sung, and scored his first overall goal of the season in a 3â€“1 League Cup third round win over Middlesbrough on 24 September.
In a 5â€“0 win over Stoke City on 15 November 2008, Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st goals in all competitions for Manchester United, both from free kicks. The goals also meant that Ronaldo had now scored against each of the other 19 teams in the Premier League at the time. On 2 December, Ronaldo became Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or recipient since George Best in 1968. He finished with 446 points, 165 ahead of runner-up Lionel Messi. He was awarded the Silver Ball after finishing with two goals as United won the Club World Cup on 19 December.
On 8 January 2009, Ronaldo was uninjured in a single-car accident in which he wrote off his Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano in a tunnel along the A538 near Manchester Airport. A breathalyzer test he gave to police officers at the scene was negative, and he attended training later that morning. Four days later, he became the first Premier League player ever to be named the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to being the first Portuguese player to win the award since LuÃs Figo in 2001.
Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal of the season, and first since the final against Chelsea, in a 2â€“0 victory over Internazionale that sent United into the quarter-finals. In the second leg against Porto, Ronaldo scored a 40-yard game-winning goal as United advanced to the semi-finals. He later called it the best goal he had ever scored. Ronaldo participated in his second consecutive Champions League final, but made little impact in United's 2â€“0 loss to Barcelona. He finished with 53 appearances in all competitions, which was four higher than the previous year, but scored sixteen fewer goals (26) than his career-best total of 42 from the previous season.
On 11 June, Manchester United accepted an unconditional offer of Â£80 million from Real Madrid for Ronaldo after it was revealed that he again had expressed his desire to leave the club. It was confirmed by a representative of the Glazer family that the sale was fully condoned by Ferguson. When Ronaldo had eventually completed his transfer to Real, he expressed his gratitude towards Ferguson for helping him develop as a player, saying, "He's been my father in sport, one of the most important factors and most influential in my career."
On 26 June 2009, Real Madrid confirmed that Ronaldo would join the club on 1 July 2009, after agreeing terms and signing a six-year contract.Â It is believed that Ronaldo's contract is worth â‚¬13 million per season and it has a â‚¬1 billion buy-out clause.Â He was presented to the world media as a Real Madrid player on 6 July,Â where he was handed the number 9 jersey.Â The shirt was presented to him by Madrid legend Alfredo di StÃ©fano.Â Ronaldo was welcomed by 80,000 fans at his presentation at the Santiago BernabÃ©u Stadium, surpassing Diego Maradona's record of 75,000 fans when he was presented in Italy, after he was transferred from BarcelonaÂ to Napoli in 1984.
Ronaldo made his Madrid debut on 21 July in a 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers. His first goal came one week later on a penalty in Madrid's 4-2 LDU Quito. On 29 August, Ronaldo capped his La Liga debut with a goal, scoring Real's second from the penalty spot in a 3â€“2 home win against Deportivo La CoruÃ±a. On 15 September, Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goals, both on free kicks, against FC ZÃ¼rich in a 5-2 win. He broke a Madrid club record when he scored in a league match against Villareal and thus became the first ever player to score in his first four La Liga appearances.
An ankle injury suffered on 10 October, while Ronaldo was on international duty with Portugal against Hungary, kept him out until 25 November, which in turn caused him to miss both of Madrid's Champions League group stage matches against A.C. Milan. Ronaldo made his first post-injury start in a 1-0 El ClÃ¡sico defeat to Barcelona on 29 November. On 6 December, he was sent off for the first time in his Madrid career in Madrid's 4-2 victory against Almeria, a match which also saw him miss a penalty. He was carded first for removing his shirt during a goal celebration, then for kicking out at an opponent three minutes later.
Ronaldo earned his first cap for Portugal in a 1-0 victory against Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003.Â He was called up for Euro 2004,Â scoring in a 2-1 group stage loss to eventual champions GreeceÂ and in a 2-1 semi-final win over the Netherlands.Â He was named in the team of the tournament despite finishing with only two goals.Â That same year, he also represented Portugal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
2006 World Cup
Ronaldo was the second-highest scorer in FIFA World Cup qualification in the European zone with seven goals, and scored his first and only World Cup goal against Iran with a penalty kick.
During a quarter-final match against England on 1 July 2006, Ronaldo's United teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho. The English media speculated that Ronaldo had influenced referee Horacio Elizondo's decision by aggressively complaining, after which he was seen in replays winking at the Portuguese bench following Rooney's dismissal. After the match, Ronaldo insisted that Rooney was a friend and that he was not pushing for Rooney to be sent off. On 4 July, Elizondo clarified that the red card was due to Rooney's infraction and not the fracas between Rooney and Ronaldo that followed.
The angry reaction from the English press caused Ronaldo to consider leaving United, and he allegedly told Spanish sports daily Marca that he wished to move to Real Madrid. In response to the speculation, Ferguson sent Portuguese assistant manager Carlos Queiroz to speak to Ronaldo in attempt to change his mind, a sentiment that was shared by Rooney. Ronaldo stayed, and signed his new five-year extension in April 2007.
Ronaldo was booed during Portugal's semifinal defeat to France, and missed out on the competition's Best Young Player award due to a negative e-mail campaign from England fans. Though the online vote only affected the nomination process, FIFA's Technical Study Group awarded the honour to Germany's Lukas Podolski, citing Ronaldo's behaviour as a factor in the decision.
One day after his twenty-second birthday, Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first time in a friendly against Brazil on 6 February 2007. This move was in honour of Portuguese Football Federation president Carlos Silva, who had died two days earlier. Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari explained, "Mr. Silva asked me to make [Ronaldo] captain as a gesture... [he] is too young to be captain, but Mr. Silva asked me, and now he is no longer with us."
Ronaldo scored eight goals in Portugal's UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, behind Poland's Ebi Smolarek, but finished with only one goal in the tournament as Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany. Since the appointment of new Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, Ronaldo has been named the new captain of the squad.
On 10 September 2009, in a World Cup qualification match against Hungary, Ronaldo provided an assist for the first goal scored by SimÃ£o and Portugal went to win the game 3â€“0. Following the win against Malta by 4 - 0, and the Sweden loss to Denmark, Portugal advanced to the 2nd place which leads to the playoff. Ronaldo was called-up for the play-offs with much controversy and disagreement from the Merengues, due to the injury he had aggravated on the game against Hungary, and was submitted to physicals by the Portuguese team but was later announced his inability to play against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
* Premier League (3): 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08, 2008â€“09
* FA Cup (1): 2003â€“04
* League Cup (2): 2005â€“06, 2008â€“09
* FA Community Shield (1): 2007
* UEFA Champions League (1): 2007â€“08
* FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008
* UEFA Euro 2004 Team of the Tournament
* FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year: 2004â€“05, 2005â€“06
* Portuguese Footballer of the Year: 2006â€“07
* UEFA Team of the Year: 2003â€“2004, 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08, 2008-09
* FIFPro World XI: 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08, 2008â€“09
* PFA Young Player of the Year: 2006â€“07
* PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08
* PFA Fans' Player of the Year: 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08
* PFA Premier League Team of the Year: 2005â€“06, 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08, 2008â€“09
* FWA Footballer of the Year: 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08
* Premier League Player of the Season: 2006â€“07, 2007â€“08
* Premier League Player of the Month: November 2006, December 2006, January 2008, March 2008
* Premier League Golden Boot: 2007â€“08
* Barclays Merit Award: 2007â€“08
* European Golden Shoe: 2007â€“08
* UEFA Club Forward of the Year: 2007â€“08
* UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2007â€“08
* FIFPro World Player of the Year: 2007â€“08
* Ballon d'Or: 2008
* FIFA World Player of the Year: 2008
* FIFA Ferenc PuskÃ¡s Award: 2009
* Onze d'Or: 2008
* Bravo Award: 2004
* FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009 Runner-up
* Ballon d'Or: 2009 Runner-up
* World Soccer Player of the Year: 2008
* Officer of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique
* Medal of Merit, Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila ViÃ§osa (House of Braganza)
Ronaldo's father, JosÃ© Dinis Aveiro, died of alcoholism at age 52 when Ronaldo was 20. Ronaldo does not consume alcohol and does not smoke. In March 2009, Ronaldo donated Â£100,000 to the hospital which helped save his mother's life after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.
Ronaldo's autobiography, titled "Moments," was published in December 2007. Along with one of his sisters, Ronaldo opened a fashion boutique under the name "CR7" (his initials and old Manchester United shirt number). There are currently two CR7 store locations, both of which are in Portugal; one in Lisbon and the other in Madeira.