His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, but he goes by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was born on February 5, 1985 in Madeira, Portugal.
He got the name “Ronaldo” after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father’s favourite actor.
He is the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener. He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia.
He grew up poor and said he shared a bedroom with his siblings.
At the age of eight, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man.
Ronaldo was nicknamed “cry-baby” as a child. His mother Dolores Aveiro said: “When he got home from school I’d tell him to do homework but he’d say he didn’t have any. I’d be making dinner and he would jump out of the window and run off until late. He used to cry when he passed and his friends didn’t score. People called him ‘cry-baby’ and ‘little bee’ because nobody could catch him.”
Ronaldo was popular with other students at school, but he was expelled at the age of 14 after he threw a chair at his teacher. Ronaldo said the reason he did it was because the teacher disrespected him. Despite it being a negative thing, it turned into a great turning point in his life. His mother then encouraged him to focus all his attention on soccer which he did and turned him into an international sensation.
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. Paulo Cardoso, his first coach at Sporting Lisbon, said: “When he got the ball he went past two or three players. At the end of the game the players gathered around him, they knew he was a special kid.”
As a teenager, he would be in the gym training using weights on either foot, and then dribbling with the ball. Ronaldo thought training with weights would improve his game techniques because without weights, he would be even faster.
At the age of 15 Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that might have forced him to give up playing football. 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.
Cristiano admits that he owes his lucky break to one of his closest friends,Albert Fantrau. “I have to thank my friend Albert for my success. We played together for a youth club. When people from Sporting (Lisbon) arrived, they told us that whoever scored more goals would be accepted to their Academy. We won that game 3-0, I scored the first goal, the Albert scored a header, and the third was a goal that impressed everyone. Albert went to one on one with the goalkeeper. I was running next to him, he went round the keeper, all he needed to do was just to get the ball into the empty net. But, he passed it to me and I scored. I was accepted to the Academy. After the match, I approached him and asked him “why” and he answered; “You’re better than me”. Several years later, the journalist went to Albert’s house and asked whether the story was true. He confirmed. He also said that his career as a football player finished after that match and he is now unemployed. “But where did you get such a gorgeous house, a car? You seemed to be a rich person. You also maintain your family … .. Where is all this from?.” Albert proudly replied; it’s from Cristiano.
His first professional game for Sporting Lisbon came when he play in the “Portuguese Super League” match at the age of 17 and that was the start of a journey which will make him one of the greatest players ever.
Manchester United paid £12 million to sign him in 2003-a record fee for a player of his age.
Sir Alex Ferguson had no hesitation in handing Ronaldo the No 7 shirt. He said: “We’ve had some fantastic No 7s, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, some wouldn’t want that jersey but his confidence was high even at 18. When he made his debut as substitute against Bolton he took the place by storm.”
Ronaldo, however, did not disappoint. He showed his promise early on in the 2004 FA Cup final, scoring the team’s first three goals and helping them capture the championship.
In 2006, Ronaldo opened a fashion boutique under the name “CR7” (his initials and shirt number) on the island of Madeira, Portugal. Ronaldo expanded his business with a second clothes boutique in Lisbon in 2008. The stores include diamond-studded belts, jeans with leather pockets and patented buckled loafers.
Ronaldo faced personal challenges in 2007 after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
In 2008, a year after signing a five-year, £31 million contract, Ronaldo set a franchise record for goals scored (42), and earning himself the FIFA World of the Year honor.
His commitment to Manchester United was under question and in 2009, Spanish soccer club Real Madrid agreed to pay United a record $131 million for the chance to sign him. “I know that they are going to demand a lot of me to be successful at the club and I know that I’m going to have much more pressure than at Manchester United because I was there for many years,” Ronaldo told reporters. “But it means a new challenge and is going to help me be the best footballer.”
On June 15, 2010, in Portugal’s opening World Cup match against Côte d’Ivoire, Ronaldo was tackled by right-back Guy Demel, which led to an argument and both being booked. The next day, Portugal contacted FIFA to suggest that Ronaldo’s yellow card be rescinded since he was “pulled into” the confrontation after having already moved away from the spot where he was tackled, but the appeal was rejected.
Ronaldo announced that he had become a father on July 3, 2010. His official Facebook and Twitter pages reference the birth of his son and request privacy. The child, named Cristiano is in full custody of Ronaldo. The mother is a waitress that he once dated for a short time and the sons name is Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.
In June 2010, during the build-up to the World Cup, Ronaldo became the fourth footballer – after Steven Gerrard, Pelé and David Beckham – to be represented as a waxwork at Madame Tussauds London
Ronaldo has previously dated English models Alice Goodwin and Gemma Atkinson, and since the start of 2010, he has been dating Russian model Irina Shayk.
He is a devout Roman Catholic.
Ronaldo’s autobiography, titled Moments, was published in December 2007.
There is a museum named Museu CR7 in his hometown Funchal, Portugal, dedicated to him which contains his trophies, rare photographs, medals and lots more related to the player.
In December 2011, Cristiano launched an iPhone game called Heads Up with Cristiano. The game is created by developer RockLive.
In July 2012, computer security company McAfee produced a report ranking footballers by the probability of an internet search for their name leading to an unsafe website. Ronaldo’s name led the list
He is also philanthropic at heart. In November 2012, Ronaldo sold the golden boot he had won in 2011 for €1.5 million and gave the money to fund schools for children in Gaza. In December 2012, Ronaldo joined FIFA’s ’11 for Health’ programme to raise awareness amongst kids of how to steer clear of conditions including drug addiction, HIV, malaria and obesity.