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Cristiano Ronaldo

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Not to be confused with Brazilian footballer Ronaldo.
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Santos and the second or paternal family name is Aveiro.
Cristiano Ronaldo
Shahter-Reak M 2015 (18).jpg
Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid in 2015
Personal information
Full name Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth (1985-02-05) 5 February 1985 (age 31)[1]
Place of birth Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 7
Youth career
1992–1995 Andorinha
1995–1997 Nacional
1997–2002 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Sporting CP B 2 (0)
2002–2003 Sporting CP 25 (3)
2003–2009 Manchester United 196 (84)
2009– Real Madrid 236 (260)
National team
2001 Portugal U15 9 (7)
2001–2002 Portugal U17 7 (5)
2003 Portugal U20 5 (1)
2002–2003 Portugal U21 10 (3)
2004 Portugal U23 3 (2)
2003– Portugal 125 (56)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:30, 14 May 2016 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 March 2016[3]

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, GOIH (born 5 February 1985) 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. By the age of 22, Ronaldo had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, 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 September 2015, Ronaldo scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country.[4]

Often ranked as the best player in the world,[5] Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation, during its 100th anniversary celebrations in 2015. He is the first player to win four European Golden Shoe awards. With Manchester United and Real Madrid, Ronaldo has won three Premier Leagues, one La Liga, one FA Cup, two Football League Cups, two Copas del Rey, three UEFA Champions Leagues, one FA Community Shield, one Spanish Super Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Ronaldo began his club career playing for Sporting CP in August 2002. In 2003 he signed for Manchester United for £12.2 million (€15 million). In 2004, he won his first trophy, the FA Cup. In 2007 and 2008, Ronaldo was named FWA Footballer of the Year, and was named the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year. In 2009 he won the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year. He was the world's most expensive player when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth £80 million (€94 million/$132 million). His buyout clause is valued at €1 billion.[6] In May 2012, he became the first footballer to score against every team in a single season in La Liga.[7] Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season, having scored 17 goals in the 2013–14 season.[8] In December 2014, Ronaldo became the fastest player to score 200 goals in La Liga, which he accomplished in his 178th La Liga game.[9] He is the only player in the history of football to score 50 or more goals in a season on six consecutive occasions.[10] In September 2015, Ronaldo became the all-time top goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League, and in October 2015 he became Real Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer. He is the second highest goalscorer in La Liga history behind his perceived career rival Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in August 2003, at the age of 18. He has since been capped over 100 times and has participated in six major tournaments: three UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008 and 2012) and three FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014). He is the first Portuguese player to reach 50 international goals, making him Portugal's all-time top goalscorer. He scored his first international goal in Euro 2004 and helped Portugal reach the final. He took over captaincy in July 2008, and he led Portugal to the semi-finals at Euro 2012, finishing the competition as joint-top scorer. In November 2014, Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer in the UEFA European Championship (including qualifying) with 23 goals.

Early life

Ronaldo was born 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.[11] His second given name, "Ronaldo", was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favourite actor.[12][13] He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia.[1] His great-grandmother Isabel da Piedade was from Cape Verde.[14] The family was staunchly Catholic. Ronaldo later said that he grew up in poverty, sharing a room with his brother and sisters.[15]

As a child, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man,[16] and later spent two years with local club Nacional. In 1997, aged 12, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who signed him for a fee of £1,500.[17][18] He subsequently moved to Alcochete, near Lisbon, to join Sporting's other youth players at the club's football academy.[17] By age 14, Ronaldo believed he had the ability to play semi-professionally, and agreed with his mother to cease his education in order to focus entirely on football.[19] While popular with other students at school, he had been expelled after throwing a chair at his teacher, whom he said had "disrespected" him.[19] A year later, however, he was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that could have forced him to give up playing football.[20] He underwent an operation in which a laser was used to cauterise the affected area of his heart; discharged from hospital hours after the procedure, he resumed training only a few days later.[21]

Club career

Sporting CP

Ronaldo memorabilia at Sporting CP's museum

At age 16, Ronaldo was promoted from Sporting's youth team by first-team manager László Bölöni, who was impressed with his dribbling.[22] He subsequently became the first player to play for the club's under-16, under-17, and under-18 teams, the B team, and the first team, all within one season.[17] A year later, on 7 October 2002, Ronaldo made his debut in the Primeira Liga, against Moreirense, and scored two goals in their 3–0 win.[23] Over the course of the 2002–03 season, his representatives suggested the player to Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier and Barcelona president Joan Laporta.[24][25] Manager Arsène Wenger, who was interested in signing the winger, met with him at Arsenal's grounds in November to discuss a possible transfer.[26]

Ronaldo came to the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in August 2003, when Sporting defeated United 3–1 at the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. His performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him.[27] Ferguson himself considered the 18-year-old "one of the most exciting young players" he had ever seen.[28][29] A decade after his departure from the club, in April 2013, Sporting honoured Ronaldo by selecting him to become their 100,000th member.[30]

Manchester United

2003–06: Development and breakthrough

Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed before the 2003–04 season.[31] His transfer fee of £12.24 million made him, at the time, the most expensive teenager in English football history.[32] Although he requested the number 28, his number at Sporting, he received the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by such United legends as George Best, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham.[33][34] Wearing the number 7 became an extra source of motivation for Ronaldo,[34] who stated that his goal was to establish himself among the world's best players within the next three years.[35] A key element in his development during his time in England proved to be his manager, Alex Ferguson, of whom he later said, "He's been my father in sport, one of the most important and influential factors in my career".[36]

"There have been a few players described as 'the new George Best' over the years, but this is the first time it's been a compliment to me."

—Former Manchester United player George Best on the 18-year-old Ronaldo in 2003[37]

Ronaldo made his debut in the Premier League in a 4–0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers on 16 August 2003, receiving a standing ovation when he came on as a 60th-minute substitute for Nicky Butt.[38][39][40] His performance earned praise from George Best, who hailed it as "undoubtedly the most exciting debut" he had ever seen.[37] Ronaldo scored his first goal for Manchester United with a free kick in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November.[41] Three other league goals followed in the second half of the campaign,[42][43] the last of which came against Aston Villa on the final day of the season, a game in which he also received his first red card.[44] Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United's 3–0 victory over Millwall in the FA Cup final, earning his first trophy.[45]

Ronaldo playing against Chelsea in the Premier League, April 2006

At the start of 2005, Ronaldo played two of his best matches of the 2004–05 season, producing a goal and an assist against Aston Villa and scoring twice against rivals Arsenal.[46][47][48][49] After scoring four goals in United's run to the FA Cup final,[50][51][52][53] he played the full 120 minutes of the decisive match against Arsenal, which ended in a goalless draw, and scored his attempt in the lost penalty shootout.[54] Although not yet a prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo scored three braces during the next campaign, the 2005–06 season, scoring two goals each against Bolton Wanderers,[55] Fulham,[56] and Portsmouth.[57] He scored Manchester United's 1000th Premier League goal on 29 October, their only strike in a 4–1 loss to Middlesbrough.[58] Midway through the season, in November, he signed a new contract which extended his previous deal by two years to 2010, as he felt his time at the club was important for the development of his career.[59] Ronaldo won his second trophy in English football, the Football League Cup, after scoring the third goal in United's 4–0 final victory over Wigan Athletic.[60]

During his third season in England, Ronaldo was involved in several incidents. He had a one-match ban imposed on him by UEFA for a "one-fingered gesture" towards Benfica fans,[61] and was sent off in the Manchester derby—a 3–1 defeat—for kicking Manchester City's former United player Andy Cole.[62] Ronaldo clashed with a teammate, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who took offense at the winger's showboating style of play.[63] Following a training ground fight in January 2006, the two again fought in May, with van Nistelrooy telling Ronaldo to "go crying to your daddy", a reference to Ronaldo's relationship with assistant manager Carlos Queiroz.[64] Van Nistelrooy was left on the substitutes' bench for the final game of the season against Charlton Athletic—a 4–0 victory in which Ronaldo scored his ninth league goal—and was subsequently sold by the club.[65][66] Following the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in which he was involved in an incident where club teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off,[67][68] Ronaldo publicly asked for a transfer, lamenting the lack of support he felt he had received from the club over the incident.[69][70] United, however, denied the possibility of him leaving the club.[71][72]

Although his World Cup altercation with Rooney resulted in Ronaldo being booed throughout the 2006–07 season,[73] it proved to be his breakout year, as he broke the 20-goal barrier for the first time and won his first Premier League title. An important factor in this success was his one-to-one training by first-team coach René Meulensteen, who taught him to make himself more unpredictable, improve his teamwork, call for the ball, and capitalise on goalscoring opportunities rather than waiting for the chance to score the aesthetically pleasing goals for which he was already known.[74] His upturn in form was showcased in November when he received a standing ovation from a section Blackburn Rovers supporters as he was substituted.[75] He scored three consecutive braces at the end of December, against Aston Villa—a victory which put United on top of the league—Wigan Athletic, and Reading.[76][77][78] Ronaldo was named the Premier League Player of the Month in November and December, becoming only the third player to receive consecutive honours.[79][80]

2007–09: Collective and individual success

Ronaldo during the 2006–07 season

At the quarter-final stage of the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo scored his first-ever goals in the competition, finding the net twice in a 7–1 victory over Roma.[81][82] He subsequently scored four minutes into the first semi-final leg against Milan, which ended in a 3–2 win,[83] but was marked out of the second leg as United lost 3–0 at the San Siro.[84] He also helped United reach the FA Cup final, putting them 2–1 up against Watford,[85] but the decisive match against Chelsea ended in a 1–0 defeat.[86] Ronaldo netted the only goal in the Manchester derby on 5 May 2007—his 50th goal for the club—as Manchester United claimed their first Premier League title in four years.[87] As a result of his performances, he amassed a host of personal awards for the season. He won the Professional Footballers' Association's Player's Player, Fans' Player, and Young Player of the Year awards, as well as the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award,[88][89] becoming the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA honours.[90] His club wages were concurrently upgraded to £120,000 a week (£31 million total) as part of a five-year contract extension with United.[91]

Ronaldo scored a total of 42 goals in all competitions during the 2007–08 season, his most prolific campaign during his time in England. His first goal of the season came against his former club, Sporting, with a header in the first group match of the Champions League.[92] He missed three matches after headbutting a Portsmouth player at the start of the season, an experience he said taught him not to let opponents provoke him,[93][94] but still managed to score 13 league goals by the campaign's midway point.[95][96][97][98] At the end of 2007, four years after proclaiming his desire to become one of the world's best players, Ronaldo achieved his goal when he was named runner-up to Kaká for the Ballon d'Or, as voted for by sports journalists,[99] and came third, behind Kaká and Lionel Messi, in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, as determined by international managers and captains.[100]

"Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United."

—Dutch legend Johan Cruyff on the 23-year-old Ronaldo, April 2008.[101]

Ronaldo scored his first and only hat-trick for Manchester United in a 6–0 win against Newcastle United on 12 January 2008, bringing United up to the top of the Premier League table.[102] A month later, on 19 March, he captained United for the first time in a home win over Bolton, and scored both goals of the match.[103] His second goal was his 33rd of the campaign, which bettered George Best's total of 32 goals in the 1967–68 season, thus setting the club's new single-season record by a midfielder.[104] Ronaldo scored his final league goal of the season from the penalty spot in the title decider against Wigan on 11 May, as United claimed a second successive Premier League title.[105] His 31 league goals earned him the Premier League Golden Boot,[106] as well as the European Golden Shoe, which made him the first winger to win the latter award.[107]

Ronaldo playing against rivals Liverpool during the 2008–09 season

In the knockout stage of the Champions League, Ronaldo scored the decisive goal against Lyon, which helped United advance to the quarter-finals 2–1 on aggregate,[108] and, while playing as a striker, scored with a header in the 3–0 aggregate victory over Roma.[109] Despite him missing a penalty in the first leg against Barcelona,[110] United eventually advanced to the final in Moscow, where they faced Chelsea.[111] His opening goal was negated by an equaliser as the match ended in a 1–1 draw, but although his penalty was saved in the shoot-out,[112] Manchester United emerged victorious.[113][114] As the Champions League top scorer, Ronaldo was named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year.[115] He additionally received the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards for the second consecutive season.[116][117]

As rumours circulated of Ronaldo's interest in moving to Real Madrid,[118][119] United filed a tampering complaint with governing body FIFA over Madrid's alleged pursuit of their player, but they declined to take action.[120][121] FIFA president Sepp Blatter asserted that the player should be allowed to leave his club, describing the situation as "modern slavery".[122] Despite Ronaldo publicly agreeing with Blatter,[123][124] he remained at United for another year.[125][126][127] Ahead of the 2008–09 season, on 7 July, he underwent ankle surgery,[128] which kept him out of action for 10 weeks.[129] Following his return, he scored his 100th goal in all competitions for United with the first of two free kicks in a 5–0 win against Stoke City on 15 November,[130] which meant he had now scored against all 19 opposition teams in the Premier League at the time.[131] Five days later, he received the third red card of his career when he was sent off against Manchester City.[132] At the close of 2008, Ronaldo helped United win the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan,[133] assisting the final-winning goal against Liga de Quito and winning the Silver Ball in the process.[134][135] He subsequently became United's first Ballon d'Or winner since George Best in 1968,[136][137] and the first Premier League player to be named the FIFA World Player of the Year.[138]

Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal of the season, and his first since the final against Chelsea, in a 2–0 victory over Inter Milan, sending United into the quarter-finals.[139] His match-winning goal in the second leg against Porto, a 40-yard strike, earned him the inaugural FIFA Puskás Award, presented by FIFA in recognition of the best goal of the year;[140] he later called it the best goal he had ever scored.[141][142] He scored twice against Arsenal, including a free kick from 39 yards, as United advanced to the final in Rome,[143] where he made little impact in United's 2–0 defeat to Barcelona.[144][145] Ronaldo ended his time in England with nine throphies, as United claimed their third successive Premier League title and a Football League Cup.[146][147] He finished the campaign with 26 goals in all competitions, 16 goals fewer than the previous season, in four more appearances.[148] His final ever goal for Manchester United came on 10 May 2009 with a free kick in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.[149]

Real Madrid

2009–12: World record transfer and La Liga championship

"I have nothing but praise for the boy. He is easily the best player in the world. His contribution as a goal threat is unbelievable. His stats are incredible. Strikes at goal, attempts on goal, raids into the penalty box, headers. It is all there."

—Ronaldo's former manager, Alex Ferguson, following his transfer to Real Madrid[150]

Ahead of the 2009–10 season, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of £80 million (€94 million).[151] His contract, which ran until 2015, was worth €11 million per year and contained a €1 billion buy-out clause.[152][153] At least 80,000 fans attended his presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu, surpassing the 25-year record of 75,000 fans who had welcomed Diego Maradona at Napoli.[154][155] Since club captain Raúl already wore the number 7,[156] Ronaldo received the number 9 shirt,[157] which was presented to him by Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano.[158]

Ronaldo against Diego Forlán of city rivals Atlético Madrid during his first season in Spain

Ronaldo made his debut in La Liga on 29 August 2009, against Deportivo La Coruña, and scored from the penalty spot in Madrid's 3–2 home win.[159] He scored in each of his first four league fixtures with the club, the first Madrid player to do so.[160] His first Champions League goals for the club followed with two free kicks in the first group match against Zürich.[161] His strong start to the season, however, was interrupted when he suffered an ankle injury in October while on international duty, which kept him sidelined for seven weeks.[162][163] A week after his return, he received his first red card in Spain in a match against Almería, which also saw him miss a penalty.[164] Midway through the season, Ronaldo placed second in the running for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, behind Lionel Messi of Barcelona, Madrid's historic rivals. He finished the campaign with 33 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in a 4–1 win against Mallorca on 5 May 2010, his first in the Spanish competition.[165][166] His first season at Real Madrid ended trophyless.[167]

Following Raúl's departure, Ronaldo was handed the number 7 shirt for Real Madrid before the 2010–11 season.[156] His subsequent return to his Ballon d'Or-winning form was epitomised when, for the first time in his career, he scored four goals in a single match during a 6–1 rout against Racing Santander on 23 October.[168] His haul concluded a goalscoring run of six consecutive matches—three in La Liga, one in the Champions League, and two for Portugal—totalling 11 goals, the most he had scored in a single month. Ronaldo subsequently netted further hat-tricks against Athletic Bilbao, Levante, Villarreal, and Málaga.[169][170][171] Despite his scoring rate, he failed to make the podium for the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or at the end of 2010, marking the only year during his time in Spain to date that he was not named one of the world's two best players.[172]

During a historical series of four Clásicos against rivals Barcelona in April 2011, Ronaldo scored twice to equal his personal record of 42 goals in all competitions in a single season. Although he failed to find the net during Madrid's eventual elimination in the Champions League semi-finals, he equalised from the penalty spot in the return league game and scored the match-winning goal in the 103rd minute of the Copa del Rey final, winning his first trophy in Spain.[173][174] Over the next two weeks, Ronaldo scored another four-goal haul against Sevilla,[175][176] a hat-trick against Getafe,[177] and a brace of free kicks against Villarreal, taking his league total to 38 goals, which equalled the record for most goals scored in a season held by Telmo Zarra and Hugo Sánchez.[178] His two goals in the last match of the season, against Almería, made him the first player in La Liga to score 40 goals.[179][180] In addition to the Pichichi Trophy, Ronaldo consequently won the European Golden Shoe for a second time, becoming the first player to win the award in two different leagues.[181] He ended his second season at Real Madrid with a total of 53 goals in all competitions.[182]

Ronaldo playing against CSKA Moscow, February 2012

During the following campaign, the 2011–12 season, Ronaldo surpassed his previous goalscoring feats to achieve a new personal best of 60 goals across all competitions.[183] His 100th goal for Real Madrid came at Camp Nou in the Supercopa de España, though Barcelona claimed the trophy 5–4 on aggregate.[184] He regained a place on the FIFA Ballon d'Or podium, as runner-up to Messi, after scoring hat-tricks against Real Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano, Málaga, Osasuna, and Sevilla, the last of which put Madrid on top of the league by the season's midway point.[185][186][187][188][189] Despite two goals from Ronaldo, Madrid were subsequently defeated by Barcelona 4–3 on aggregrate in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. He again scored twice, including a penalty, in the Champions League semi-finals against Bayern Munich, resulting in a 3–3 draw, but his penalty kick in the shootout was saved by Manuel Neuer, leading to Madrid's elimination.[190]

Ronaldo found greater team success in the league, as he helped Real Madrid win their first La Liga title in four years, with a record 100 points. Following a hat-trick against Levante, further increasing Madrid's lead over Barcelona,[191] he scored his 100th league goal for Madrid in a 5–1 win over Real Sociedad on 24 March 2012, a milestone he reached in just 92 matches across three seasons, breaking the previous club record held by Ferenc Puskás.[192] Another hat-trick in the Madrid derby against Atlético Madrid brought his total to 40 league goals, equalling his record of the previous season.[193] His final league goal of the campaign, against Mallorca, took his total to 46 goals, four short of the new record set by Messi,[194] and earned him the distinction of being the first player to score against all 19 opposition teams in a single season in La Liga.[7]

Ronaldo began the 2012–13 season by lifting the Supercopa de España, his third trophy in Spain. With a goal in each leg by the Portuguese, Madrid won the supercup on away goals following a 4–4 aggregate draw against Barcelona.[195] Although Ronaldo publicly commented that he was unhappy with a "professional issue" within the club, prompted by his refusal to celebrate his 150th goal for Madrid,[196] his goalscoring rate did not suffer. After netting a hat-trick, including two penalties, against Deportivo La Coruña, he scored his first hat-trick in the Champions League in a 4–1 victory over Ajax.[197] Four days later, he became the first player to score in six successive Clásicos when he hit a brace in a 2–2 draw at Camp Nou.[198] His performances in 2012 again saw Ronaldo voted second in the running for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, finishing runner-up to four-time winner Messi.[199]

2013–14: Consecutive Ballon d'Or wins and La Décima

Following the 2012–13 winter break, Ronaldo captained Real Madrid for the first time in an official match, scoring a brace to lift 10-man Madrid to a 4–3 victory over Real Sociedad on 6 January.[200][201] He subsequently became the first non-Spanish player in 60 years to captain Madrid in El Clásico on 30 January, a match which also marked his 500th club appearance.[202] Three days prior, he had scored his 300th club goal as part of a perfect hat-trick against Getafe.[203] Following hat-tricks against Celta Vigo and Sevilla,[204][205] he scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid on 8 May in a 6–2 win against Málaga, reaching the landmark in just 197 games.[206] He helped Madrid reach the Copa del Rey final by scoring a brace in El Clásico, which marked the sixth successive match at Camp Nou in which he had scored,[207] a scoring streak twice as long as that of any other player in Madrid's history.[195] In the final, he headed the opening goal of an eventual 2–1 defeat to Atlético Madrid,[208] but was shown a straight red card in the 114th minute for violent conduct.[209][210] Real Madrid also failed to defend their La Liga title, finishing runners up to Barcelona.

In the first knockout round of the Champions League, Ronaldo faced his former club Manchester United for the first time. After scoring the equalizer in a 1–1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu,[211] he netted the match-winning goal in a 2–1 victory at Old Trafford, his first return to his former home grounds;[212] afterwards, he commented that he felt sadness at having caused United's elimination from the competition.[213] Ronaldo scored three goals in Madrid's 5–3 aggregate victory over Galatasaray to see them advance to the semi-finals,[214][215] He scored Madrid's only goal in the 4–1 away defeat to Borussia Dortmund,[216] but failed to increase his side's 2–0 victory in the second leg, as they were eliminated at the semi-final stage for the third consecutive year.[217] Ronaldo had scored 12 goals, finishing as the Champions League top goalscorer for a second time in his career. Accounting for all competitions, he ended the season with a total of 55 goals.[218]

Ronaldo against Atlético Madrid in September 2013

Real Madrid's failure to win major silverware and reports of division among the players prompted speculation regarding Ronaldo's future at the club.[219][220][221] At the start of the 2013–14 season, however, he signed a new contract that extended his stay by three years to 2018, with a salary of €17 million net, making him briefly the highest-paid player in football.[222][223] He was joined at the club by winger Gareth Bale, whose world record transfer fee of €100 million surpassed the fee Madrid had paid for Ronaldo four years prior.[224] Together with striker Karim Benzema, they formed an attacking trio popularly dubbed BBC, an acronym of Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano.[225] After enjoying a strong goalscoring run during the first half of the campaign, Ronaldo suggested that he was in the best form of his career.[226] By late November, he had scored 32 goals from 22 matches played for both club and country, including hat-tricks against Galatasaray, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Northern Ireland, and Sweden.[227][228][229][230][231] He ended 2013 with a total of 69 goals in 59 appearances, his highest year-end goal tally.[232][233] His efforts earned him the FIFA Ballon d'Or for a second time in his career, though the media vote favoured Franck Ribéry.[234][235] The achievement fuelled public recognition of Ronaldo as one of the greatest players in football history.[236][237][238]

Concurrently with his individual achievements, Ronaldo enjoyed his greatest team success in Spain to date, as he helped Real Madrid win La Décima, their tenth European Cup. In the knockout phase of the competition, he scored a brace in each leg of a 9–2 aggregate win against Schalke 04,[239] helping Madrid advance to the quarter-finals. His goal in a 3–0 home win over Borussia Dortmund—his 100th Champions League match—took his total for the season to 14 goals, equalling the record Messi had set two years before.[240][241][242] After hitting a brace in a 4–0 defeat of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena,[243] he scored from the penalty spot in the 120th minute of the 4–1 final victory over Atlético Madrid, becoming the first player to score in two European Cup finals for two different winning teams.[244] His overall performance in the final was subdued as a result of patellar tendinitis and related hamstring problems, which had plagued him in the last months of the campaign. Ronaldo played the final against medical advice, later commenting: "In your life you do not win without sacrifices and you must take risks."[245] As the Champions League top goalscorer for the third time, with a record 17 goals,[246][247] he was named the UEFA Best Player in Europe.[248]

In the Copa del Rey, Ronaldo helped Madrid reach the final by scoring a brace of penalties against Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón,[249] the first of which meant he had now scored in every single minute of a 90-minute football match.[250] His continued issues with his knee and thigh caused him to miss the final,[245][251] where Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2–1 to claim the trophy.[252] While Madrid were less successful in La Liga, finishing third, Ronaldo was unmatched as a goalscorer. He scored 31 goals in 30 league games, which earned him the Pichichi and the European Golden Shoe, receiving the latter award jointly with Liverpool striker Luis Suárez.[253] Among his haul was his 400th career goal, in 653 appearances for club and country, which came with a brace against Celta Vigo on 6 January; he dedicated his goals to Portuguese legend Eusébio, who had died two days before.[254] A last-minute, backheeled volley scored against Valencia on 4 May—his 50th goal in all competitions—was recognised as the best goal of the season by the Liga de Fútbol Profesional,[255][256] which additionally named Ronaldo the Best Player in La Liga.[257]

"Cristiano Ronaldo is changing the game in Spain. With all that pace and power and athleticism, he is driving Real Madrid back into dominance both there and in Europe."

—Former Manchester United player Bobby Charlton, November 2014[258]

During the next campaign, the 2014–15 season, Ronaldo set a new personal best of 61 goals in all competitions, starting with both goals in Real Madrid's 2–0 victory over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup.[259][260] He subsequently achieved his best-ever goalscoring start to a league campaign, with a record 15 goals in the first eight rounds of La Liga, including a four-goal haul against Elche and hat-tricks against Deportivo La Coruña and Athletic Bilbao.[261][262][263][264] His record 23rd hat-trick in La Liga, scored against Celta Vigo on 6 December, made him the fastest player to reach 200 goals in the Spanish league, as he reached the milestone in only his 178th game.[9][264] After lifting the FIFA Club World Cup with Madrid in Morocco,[265] again winning the Silver Ball,[266][267] Ronaldo received a second successive FIFA Ballon d'Or,[268][269] joining Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten as a three-time Ballon d'Or winner.[270][271]

2015–present: All-time Real Madrid goalscorer and La Undécima

Ronaldo playing against FC Schalke 04 in March 2015

Following the winter break, Ronaldo's form faltered, concurrently with a decline in performance by his team.[272] A 2–1 defeat against Valencia in the first match of 2015, despite his opening goal, ended Real Madrid's Spanish record winning streak of 22 matches in all competitions.[273] Their season continued unsuccessfully as they failed to win a major trophy, earning a second-place league finish and a semi-final exit in Europe.[274] In the latter competition, Ronaldo extended his run of scoring away to a record 12 matches with his strike in a 2–0 win against Schalke 04,[275] before hitting a brace in the 3–4 return defeat that allowed Madrid to progress to the quarter-finals.[276] He then scored both of his side's goals in the semi-finals against Juventus, where Madrid were eliminated 2–3 on aggregate.[277] With 10 goals, he finished the campaign as top scorer for a third consecutive season, alongside Messi and Neymar.[278]

In La Liga, where Madrid finished second, Ronaldo went on a prolific goalscoring run towards the very end of the season. For the first time in his career, he scored five goals in one game, including an eight-minute hat-trick, in a 9–1 rout of Granada on 5 April.[279] His 300th goal for his club followed three days later in a 2–0 win against Rayo Vallecano.[280] Subsequent hat-tricks against Sevilla, Espanyol, and Getafe took his number of hat-tricks for Real Madrid to 31, surpassing Di Stéfano's club record of 28 trebles.[259][281] As a result, Ronaldo finished the season with 48 goals, two ahead of his total in the 2011–12 season, despite having missed two matches in February for assaulting a Córdoba player.[282] In addition to a second consecutive Pichichi, he won the European Golden Shoe for a record fourth time.[259][283]

At the start of his seventh season at Real Madrid, the 2015–16 campaign, Ronaldo became the club's all-time top scorer, first in the league and then in all competitions. His five-goal haul in a 6–0 away win over Espanyol on 12 September took his tally in La Liga to 230 goals in 203 games, surpassing the club's previous recordholder, Raúl.[284][285] A month later, on 17 October, he again surpassed Raúl when he scored the second goal in a 3–0 defeat of Levante at the Bernabéu to take his overall total for the club to 324 goals.[note 1] Ronaldo also became the all-time top scorer in the Champions League with a hat-trick in the first group match against Shakhtar Donetsk, having finished the previous season level with Messi on 77 goals.[288] A brace against Malmö, netted in a 2–0 away win on 30 September, saw him reach the milestone of 500 career goals for both club and country.[4][289] He subsequently became the first player to score double figures in the competition's group stage, setting the record at 11 goals, including another four-goal haul against Malmö.[290][291]

Despite finishing runner-up to Messi for the FIFA Ballon d'Or,[292] Ronaldo received criticism for his form and performances against top teams, with 14 of his goals coming against Espanyol and Malmö.[293][294] During the second half of the season, however, his form gradually improved.[295] By scoring four goals in a 7–1 home win over Celta Vigo on 5 March 2016, Ronaldo arrived at 252 goals in La Liga to become the competition's second-highest scorer in history behind Messi.[296] After netting the match-winning goal for 10-man Madrid in a 2–1 Clásico victory on 2 April,[297] he scored a hat-trick against Wolfsburg to send his club into the Champions League semi-finals despite a 2–0 first-leg defeat.[298] The treble took his tally in the competition to 16 goals, making him the top scorer for the fourth consecutive season and the fifth overall.[299] Suffering apparent fitness issues, Ronaldo gave a poorly-received performance in the final against Atlético Madrid, in a repeat of the 2014 final, though his penalty in the subsequent shoot-out secured La Undécima, Madrid's 11th victory.[300][301] For the sixth successive year, he ended the season having scored more than 50 goals across all competitions.[300]

International career

2001–06: Career beginnings

A Portuguese international, Ronaldo began his youth career in 2001. Apart from the under-15 team, he also represented the under-17, under-20, under-21, and under-23 national sides, amassing 34 youth caps and scoring 18 goals overall.[302] He represented his country at the 2002 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, where they failed to progress past the group stage.[23] Ronaldo also featured in the Olympic squad at the 2004 Summer Olympics, scoring one goal in the tournament, though the team was eliminated in the first round, finishing bottom of their group with three points after 4–2 defeats to eventual semi-finalists Iraq and quarter-finalists Costa Rica.[303][304]

At age 18, Ronaldo earned his first senior cap in a 1–0 victory over Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003.[305] He was subsequently called up for UEFA Euro 2004, held in his home country,[306] and scored his first international goal in a 2–1 group stage loss to eventual champions Greece.[307] After converting his penalty in a shootout against England at the quarter-final stage,[308] he helped Portugal reach the final by scoring the opening goal in a 2–1 win over the Netherlands,[309] but the crucial last match ended in a 0–1 defeat.[310] He was featured in the team of the tournament, having provided two assists in addition to his two goals.[311][312]

Ronaldo was the second-highest scorer in the European qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with seven goals.[312] During the tournament, he scored his first World Cup goal against Iran with a penalty kick in Portugal's second match of the group stage.[313] In the quarter-finals against England, his Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho. Although the referee later clarified that the red card was only due to Rooney's infraction,[314] the English media speculated that Ronaldo had influenced his decision by aggressively complaining, after which he was seen in replays winking at Portugal's bench following Rooney's dismissal.[315] Ronaldo was subsequently booed during their 1–0 semi-final defeat to France.[316] FIFA's Technical Study Group overlooked him for the tournament's Best Young Player award, citing his behaviour as a factor in the decision.[317]

2006–12: Captaincy

Ronaldo, pictured playing against Germany at Euro 2012, was made captain in 2008.

Post World Cup, one day after his 22nd birthday, Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first time in a friendly game against Brazil on 6 February 2007,[318] as requested by Portuguese Football Federation president Carlos Silva, who had died two days earlier.[319] Ahead of Euro 2008, he was given the number 7 shirt for the first time.[320] While he scored eight goals in the qualification,[321] the second-highest tally, he scored just one goal in the tournament, netting the second goal of their 3–1 win in the group stage match against the Czech Republic, where he was named man of the match.[322] Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals with a 3–2 loss against eventual finalists Germany.[323]

After Portugal's unsuccessful performance in the European Championship, Luiz Felipe Scolari was replaced as coach by Carlos Queiroz, formerly the assistant manager at United.[324] Queiroz made Ronaldo the squad's permanent captain in July 2008.[325] Ronaldo failed to score a single goal in the qualification for the 2010 World Cup, as Portugal narrowly avoided a premature elimination from the tournament with a play-off victory over Bosnia.[326] At the group stage of the World Cup, he was named man of the match in all three matches against Côte d'Ivoire, North Korea, and Brazil.[327][328][329] His only goal of the tournament came in their 7–0 rout of North Korea,[330] which marked his first international goal in 16 months.[331] Portugal's World Cup ended with a 1–0 loss against eventual champions Spain in the round of 16.[332]

Ronaldo scored seven goals in the qualification for Euro 2012, including two strikes against Bosnia in the play-offs, to send Portugal into the tournament, where they were drawn in a "group of death".[333] After the opening 0–1 defeat to Germany, he also failed to score in the 3–2 win against Denmark, missing two clear one-on-one chances,[334][335] which led to criticism from his countrymen for underperforming.[336] He redeemed himself in the last group match against the Netherlands, where he scored twice to secure a 2–1 victory,[337] and the quarter-finals against the Czech Republic, scoring a header to give his team a 1–0 win.[338][339] He was named man of the match against both opponents.[340][341] After the semi-finals against Spain ended scoreless, with Ronaldo having sent three shots over the bar,[342] Portugal were eliminated in the penalty shootout. Ronaldo did not take a penalty as he had been slated to take the unused fifth,[343] a decision that drew criticism.[344][345] As the joint top scorer with three goals, alongside five other players, he was again included in the team of the tournament.[346]

2012–present: All-time Portugal and Euro goalscorer

During the qualification for the 2014 World Cup, Ronaldo scored a total of eight goals. A qualifying match on 17 October 2012, a 1–1 draw against Northern Ireland, earned him his 100th cap.[347] His first international hat-trick also came against Northern Ireland, when he found the net three times in a 15-minute spell of a 4–2 qualifying victory on 6 September 2013.[348] After Portugal failed to qualify during the regular campaign, Ronaldo scored all four of the team's goals in the play-offs against Sweden, which ensured their place at the tournament.[349] His hat-trick in the second leg took his international tally to 47 goals, equalling Pauleta's record.[350] Ronaldo subsequently netted twice in a 5–1 friendly win over Cameroon on 5 March 2014 to become his country's all-time top scorer.[351]

Ronaldo taking on club teammate Luka Modrić during a friendly match against Croatia

Going into the World Cup, as Portugal's only star player, Ronaldo was primarily responsible for any possible success.[352] As a result, he took part in the tournament despite suffering from patellar tendinitis and a related thigh injury,[353][354] potentially risking his career.[355] Ronaldo later commented: "If we had two or three Cristiano Ronaldos in the team I would feel more comfortable. But we don't."[356] Despite ongoing doubts over his fitness, he played the full 90 minutes of the opening match against Germany, but was unable to prevent a 4–0 defeat.[357] After assisting an injury-time 2–2 equaliser against the United States,[358] he scored a late match-winning goal in a 2–1 victory over Ghana.[359] His 50th international goal made him the first Portuguese to play and score in three World Cups.[360] Portugal were eliminated from the tournament at the close of the group stage on goal difference.[359]

Ronaldo scored five goals, including a hat-trick against Armenia, in the qualification for Euro 2016.[361][362][363][364] With the only goal in another victory over Armenia on 14 November 2014, he reached 23 goals in the European Championship, including qualifying matches, to become the competition's all-time leading goalscorer.[365]

Player profile

Style of play

Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid against Espanyol in December 2012

Ronaldo is a versatile attacker, capable of playing on either wing as well as through the center of the pitch.[366] Ronaldo is known to be mentally sharp, with good vision and positioning, often predicting certain plays; he also possesses quick reactions, opportunism, balance, and agility.[367] Although right-footed, he is also able to control the ball, cross, and finish well with his left foot.[367]

Ronaldo is known for his technical skill, control and dribbling ability, as well as his flair in beating players during one on one situations.[368] A prolific goalscorer, he is able to finish well both inside the area and from distance with an accurate and powerful shot.[150][369] He is also an accurate penalty kick and set piece specialist, who is renowned for his powerful, bending free kicks.[370] His height, strength, jumping ability and heading technique have given him an edge in winning aerial challenges for balls, with many of his goals often being headers.[368][371] He is also known for his stamina, and in particular, his great pace and acceleration, both with and without the ball; in 2014 he was named one of the fastest football players in the world.[372]

Ronaldo controlling the ball on his chest during a La Liga game against UD Almería

Ronaldo has undergone several tactical evolutions throughout his career. While at Sporting and during his first season at Manchester United, he was typically deployed as a traditional winger on the right side of midfield, where he regularly looked to deliver crosses into the penalty area. In this position, he was able to use his pace, agility, and technical skills to take on opponents in one-on-one situations, often displaying an array of tricks and feints, such as the stepovers with which he became widely associated.[368][373] In his youth, he also regularly undertook individual dribbling runs.[367] As he matured, he underwent a major physical transformation, developing a muscular body type that allows him to retain possession of the ball.[374] Concurrently with his increased work-rate and strength, his goalscoring ability improved drastically on the left wing, where he was given the positional freedom to move into the centre to finish attacks. He increasingly played a creative role for his team, participating in build-up plays courtesy of his good vision and passing ability.[367]

In his final seasons at United, Ronaldo played an even more prolific, attacking, and central role, functioning both as a striker and as a supporting forward, or even as an attacking midfielder on occasion.[367] At Real Madrid, he continued to play a more offensive role, while his creative and defensive duties became more limited.[367] Initially deployed as a centre-forward, he was later moved back onto the left wing, though in a free tactical role, allowing him to drift into the centre at will.[367][375][376] Madrid's counter-attacking style of play allowed him to become a more efficient and consistent player, as evidenced by his record-breaking goalscoring feats.[377] In recent seasons, he effectively adapted his style to the physical effects of ageing with increasingly reduced off-the-ball movement and general involvement, instead focusing on short-distance goalscoring.[373]


Despite receiving acclaim for his skill and prolific goalscoring, Ronaldo has at times been criticised for diving when tackled, about which his former Real Madrid manager José Mourinho responded: "Cristiano is a player who does not have the culture of the swimming pool, he has no culture of simulation, he is a British-trained player, Ferguson trained. In some cases, the simulators are given more protection, and those who are honest are often the losers. I'm not a hypocrite if I say that they [defenders] hit Cristiano very hard, and that the yellow cards do not arrive or are slow in coming".[378] Despite his talent, he was also occasionally criticised early in his career by manager Alex Ferguson, team mates and the media for being a selfish or overly flamboyant player.[379][380]

Earlier in his career, Ronaldo had also been described as having an "arrogant image" on the field, with Ronaldo stating that he had become a "victim", because of how he was portrayed in the media.[381] He is often seen moaning, gesticulating and scowling while trying to inspire his team to victory, with Ronaldo insisting that his competitive nature should not be mistaken for arrogance.[381] His managers, team-mates and various journalists have commented that this reputation has caused an unfair image of him.[367][382][383][384][385][386][387] In 2014, Ronaldo told France Football that he had made a "mistake" when he said in 2011, "People are jealous of me as I am young handsome and rich", adding that he had matured since then and fans understood him better.[388]

Widely regarded as one of the two best players in the world within his generation (the other being Lionel Messi),[389][390] and as one of the best players to ever play the game,[391] Ronaldo's talent, skill and consistent goalscoring ability have led him to be considered a decisive player, who stands out in games, and who can be a match changer.[392]

"Maturity brings many things. When I went to see them play against City, some of his decision-making in terms of passing was brilliant. One-touch passing, good crosses. In the six years we had him, you just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player. Now you see the complete player. His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player".[393]

— Alex Ferguson on the 27-year-old Ronaldo, January 2013

Some figures in football, such as Mike Clegg (former Manchester United strength and conditioning coach) and French great Zinedine Zidane, have praised Ronaldo's work ethic and dedication to improvement on the training field.[394][395] His drive and determination is fuelled by a desire to carve his name in history alongside footballing legends such as Pelé and Diego Maradona,[396] but he has also stated that he would rather be remembered as a role model than one of world football's best players.[397]

Comparisons to Lionel Messi

Ronaldo with Lionel Messi before an international friendly between Portugal and Argentina in Geneva, Switzerland, on 9 February 2011

Both players have scored in two UEFA Champions League finals and have regularly broken the 50 goal barrier in a single season. Sports journalists and pundits regularly argue the individual merits of both players in an attempt to argue who they believe is the best player in modern football.[398] It has been compared to legendary sports rivalries such as the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier rivalry in boxing, the Borg–McEnroe rivalry in tennis, and the Ayrton Senna-Alain Prost rivalry from Formula One motor racing.[399][400]

"It's part of my life now. People are bound to compare us. He tries to do his best for his club and for his national team, as I do, and there is a degree of rivalry with both of us trying to do the best for the teams we represent."

—Cristiano Ronaldo commenting on his rivalry with Messi.[401]

Some commentators choose to analyse the differing physiques and playing styles of the two,[402] while part of the debate revolves around the contrasting personalities of the two players: Ronaldo is sometimes depicted as an arrogant and theatrical showoff, while Messi is portrayed as a shy, humble character.[403][404][405][406]

In a 2012 interview, Ronaldo commented on the rivalry, saying "I think we push each other sometimes in the competition, this is why the competition is so high",[407] while Ronaldo's manager during his time at Manchester United, Alex Ferguson, opined that "I don't think the rivalry against each other bothers them. I think they have their own personal pride in terms of wanting to be the best".[408] Messi himself denied any rivalry, saying that it was "only the media, the press, who wants us to be at loggerheads but I've never fought with Cristiano".[409] Responding to the claims that he and Messi do not get on well on a personal level, Ronaldo commented; "We don't have a relationship outside the world of football, just as we don't with a lot of other players", before adding that in years to come he hopes they can laugh about it together, stating; "We have to look on this rivalry with a positive spirit, because it's a good thing."[401] Representing arch rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two players face each other at least twice every season in the world's biggest club game, El Clásico, which had a global audience of 400 million viewers in March 2014.[410]

In a debate at Oxford Union in October 2013, when asked whether FIFA president Sepp Blatter preferred Messi or Ronaldo, Blatter paid tribute to the work ethic of the Argentine before taking a swipe at Ronaldo, claiming "one of them has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other". Real Madrid demanded – and promptly received – a full apology, and the Portuguese issued his own riposte with a mock-salute celebration after scoring a penalty against Sevilla, after Blatter had described him as a "commander" on the pitch.[411]

In popular culture

Forbes has twice ranked Ronaldo first on their list of the world's highest-paid football players; his combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings was $73 million in 2013–14 and $79 million in 2014–15.[412][413] The latter earnings saw him listed behind only boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on the magazine's list of The World's Highest-Paid Athletes.[414] Ronaldo is one of the world's most marketable athletes: SportsPro rated him the fifth most marketable athlete in 2012,[415] and eighth most marketable athlete in 2013, with Brazilian footballer Neymar topping both lists.[415][416] Sports market research company Repucom named Ronaldo the most marketable and most recognized football player in the world in May 2014.[417] He was additionally named in the 2014 Time 100, Time's annual list of the most influential people in the world.[418]

As his reputation rapidly grew from his time at Manchester United, Ronaldo signed many sponsorship deals, including with the U.S. sportswear company Nike.[419][420][421][422] He has worn Nike Mercurial boots his entire career,[423] alternating between the Vapor and Superfly models depending on which is the top-tier Nike boot at the time. Since 2010, Nike have created signature Ronaldo boots, the first being the Superfly II Safari CR7,[424] and the latest, in 2014, the Mercurial Superfly CR7.[425] His other endorsement deals include Coca-Cola, Emporio Armani, Castrol, Banco Espirito Santo, Motorola, Jacob & Co, KFC, Tag Heuer, Fly Emirates, Samsung, Herbalife and Pokerstars.[420][426][427][428][429][430][431] Ronaldo was the face of Konami's video games Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2013.[432] He also features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series as well as the spin-off franchise FIFA Street, appearing in every game since FIFA Football 2004 and on the cover of FIFA Street 2. The former series features Ronaldo's "Thigh Flex" (FIFA 13), "The Bear" (FIFA 14), "Calm Down" (FIFA 14) and "Right Here Right Now" (FIFA 15) celebrations.[433]

Ronaldo has established a strong online presence; the most popular sportsperson on social media, he counted 158 million total followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by June 2015.[434] As of June 2015, he has the world's biggest Facebook fanbase with 103 million followers:[434] he became the first sportsperson to reach 50 million followers in August 2010,[435] and in October 2014, he became the first sportsperson, and the second person after Shakira, to reach 100 million followers.[436] He is also the most-followed athlete on Twitter with 37.8 million followers as of September 2015,[437] and is the most-followed footballer on Instagram with 33.6 million followers as of October 2015.[438] Ronaldo has released two mobile apps: in December 2011, he launched an iPhone game called Heads Up with Cristiano, created by developer RockLive,[439] and in December 2013, he launched Viva Ronaldo, a dedicated social networking website and mobile app.[440] Computer security company McAfee produced a 2012 report ranking footballers by the probability of an internet search for their name leading to an unsafe website, with Ronaldo's name first on the list.[441]

The opening of the Cristiano Ronaldo Museum, "CR7", in Funchal, Madeira, took place on 15 December 2013.

Ronaldo's life and person have been the subject of several works. His autobiography, titled Moments, was published in December 2007.[442] His sponsor Castro produced the television film Ronaldo: Tested to the Limit, in which he is physically and mentally tested in several fields; his physical performance was consequently subject to scrutiny by world media upon the film's release in September 2011.[443] Cristiano Ronaldo: The World at his Feet, a documentary narrated by the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, was released via Vimeo and Vision Films in June 2014.[444] A documentary film about his life and career, titled Ronaldo, was released worldwide on 9 November 2015.[437] Directed by BAFTA-winner Anthony Wonke, the film is produced and distributed by Universal Pictures, while Asif Kapadia is the executive producer.[445]

In December 2013, Ronaldo opened a museum, Museu CR7, in his hometown of Funchal, Madeira, to house trophies and memorabilia of his life and playing career.[446] At a ceremony held at the Belém Palace in January 2014, President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva raised Ronaldo to the rank of Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry, "to distinguish an athlete of world renown who has been a symbol of Portugal globally, contributing to the international projection of the country and setting an example of tenacity for future generations".[447] A bronze statue of Ronaldo, designed by artist Ricardo Madeira Veloso, was unveiled in Funchal on 21 December 2014.[448][449]

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.[450] Another waxwork of him was presented at the Madrid Wax Museum in December 2013.[451] In June 2015, astronomers led by David Sobral from Lisbon and Leiden discovered a galaxy which they named CR7 (Cosmos Redshift 7) in tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo in reference to his CR7 mantle (his initials and shirt number).[452][453]

Outside football

Personal life

Ronaldo during his current tenure with Real Madrid

Ronaldo's father, José Dinis Aveiro, died of an alcoholism-related liver condition at the age of 52 in September 2005 when Ronaldo was 20.[454][455] Ronaldo has said that he does not drink alcohol and he received libel damages over a Daily Mirror article that reported him drinking heavily in a nightclub while recovering from an injury in July 2008.[456]

In October 2005, a month after his father died, Ronaldo was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in a London hotel and released on bail.[457] Ronaldo denied the allegations and charges were dropped by Scotland Yard in November 2005 due to "insufficient evidence". Ronaldo issued a statement saying: "I have always strongly maintained my innocence of any wrong-doing and I am glad that this matter is at an end so that I can concentrate on playing for Manchester United".[458]

Ronaldo became a father on 17 June 2010 following the birth of a son.[459] The child, named Cristiano, and nicknamed by the family 'Cristianinho',[460] was born in the United States,[461] and Ronaldo announced that he had full custody.[462] Ronaldo has never publicly revealed the identity of his son's mother.[463]

Ronaldo has previously dated English models Alice Goodwin[464] and Gemma Atkinson. In 2010, he began dating Russian model Irina Shayk, whom he reportedly met through their Armani Exchange campaigns.[465] Ronaldo and Shayk appeared together on the May 2014 cover of Vogue's Spanish edition.[466] The couple ended their relationship in January 2015.[467] He is a Roman Catholic.[468] Ronaldo does not have tattoos as it would prevent him from donating blood, which he does several times a year.[469] In August 2015, Ronaldo bought an $18.5 million loft in Trump Tower in New York City.[470]


Television footage of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami showed an eight-year-old boy survivor named Martunis wearing a No. 7 Portuguese football shirt who was stranded for 19 days after his family was killed. Following this, Ronaldo visited Aceh, Indonesia, to raise funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction.[471][472] After accepting undisclosed damages from a libel case against The Sun newspaper in 2008, Ronaldo donated the damages to a charity in Madeira.[473] In 2009, Ronaldo donated £100,000 to the hospital that saved his mother's life in Madeira following her battle with cancer, so that they could build a cancer centre on the island.[474] In support of the victims of the 2010 Madeira flood, Ronaldo pledged to play in a charity match in Madeira between the Primeira Liga club FC Porto and players from Madeiran-based clubs Marítimo and Nacional.[475]

In 2012, Ronaldo and his agent paid for specialist treatment for a nine-year-old Canarian boy with apparently terminal cancer.[476] 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.[477] 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.[478][479]

In January 2013, Ronaldo became Save the Children's new Global Artist Ambassador, in which he hopes to help fight child hunger and obesity.[480] In March, Ronaldo agreed to be the ambassador for The Mangrove Care Forum in Indonesia, an organisation aiming to raise awareness of mangrove conservation.[481]

In November 2014, Ronaldo appeared in FIFA's "11 against Ebola" campaign with a selection of top football players from around the world, including Neymar, Gareth Bale, Xavi and African star Didier Drogba.[482] Under the slogan "Together, we can beat Ebola", FIFA's campaign was done in conjunction with the Confederation of African Football and health experts, with the players holding up eleven messages to raise awareness of the disease and ways to combat it.[482]


Ronaldo is known as a fashion icon, and is a lucrative spokesperson sought after by clothing designers, health and fitness specialists, fashion magazines, perfume and cosmetics manufacturers, hair stylists, exercise promoters, and spa and recreation companies. One example is a line of fragrances called Legacy.[483]

He opened his first fashion boutique under the name "CR7" (his initials and shirt number) on the island of Madeira, Portugal in 2006. 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. The store also sells slinky outfits for women.[484]

In partnership with Scandinavian manufacturer JBS Textile Group and the New York fashion designer Richard Chai, Ronaldo co-designed a range of underwear and sock line, released in November 2013.[485] He later expanded his CR7 fashion brand by launching a line of premium shirts[486] and shoes by July 2014.[487] In June 2015, Ronaldo announced that he would be releasing his own fragrance by the end of the year, in a partnership with Eden Parfums.[488]

Career statistics


As of 28 May 2016
Club statistics
Club Season League Cup[a] League Cup Europe Other[b] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sporting CP B 2002–03[489] Segunda Divisão 2 0 2 0
Sporting CP 2002–03[490] Primeira Liga 25 3 3 2 3[c] 0 0 0 31 5
Manchester United[491] 2003–04 Premier League 29 4 5 2 1 0 5[d] 0 0 0 40 6
2004–05 33 5 7 4 2 0 8[d] 0 0 0 50 9
2005–06 33 9 2 0 4 2 8[d] 1 47 12
2006–07 34 17 7 3 1 0 11[d] 3 53 23
2007–08 34 31 3 3 0 0 11[d] 8 1[e] 0 49 42
2008–09 33 18 2 1 4 2 12[d] 4 2[f] 1 53 26
Total 196 84 26 13 12 4 55 16 3 1 292 118
Real Madrid 2009–10[165] La Liga 29 26 0 0 6[d] 7 35 33
2010–11[173] 34 40[g] 8 7 12[d] 6 54 53
2011–12[493] 38 46 5 3 10[d] 10 2[h] 1 55 60
2012–13[494] 34 34 7 7 12[d] 12 2[h] 2 55 55
2013–14[495] 30 31 6 3 11[d] 17 47 51
2014–15[496] 35 48 2 1 12[d] 10 5[i] 2 54 61
2015–16[497] 36 35 0 0 12[d] 16 48 51
Total 236 260 28 21 75 78 9 5 348 364
Career total 459 347 57 36 12 4 133 94 12 6 673 487
  1. ^ Includes the Taça de Portugal, FA Cup and Copa del Rey
  2. ^ Includes the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Supercopa de España
  3. ^ one appearance in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Cup
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m All appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  5. ^ Appearance in FA Community Shield
  6. ^ All appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
  7. ^ Does not include one goal scored on 18 September 2010 against Real Sociedad. Marca, which awards the Pichichi Trophy, attribute it to Ronaldo, while La Liga and UEFA attribute it to Pepe.[492]
  8. ^ a b All appearances in Supercopa de España
  9. ^ one appearance and two goals in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in Supercopa de España, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup


Ronaldo (left) playing against Argentina in Geneva, Switzerland on 9 February 2011
As of 29 March 2016.[3][498][499]
National team Year Apps Goals
Portugal 2003 2 0
2004 16 7
2005 11 2
2006 14 6
2007 10 5
2008 8 1
2009 7 1
2010 11 3
2011 8 7
2012 13 5
2013 9 10
2014 9 5
2015 5 3
2016 2 1
Total 125 56



Manchester United[500]
Real Madrid[500]


Ronaldo presenting his second FIFA Ballon d'Or to fans at the Santiago Bernabéu in January 2015



(As of 16 April 2016)[535]



  • Most goals scored in European competitions (club football): 96 goals[542][543][544]
  • Most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League: 94 goals[545]
  • Most goals scored in a UEFA Champions League/European Cup season: 17 goals in 2013–14[546]
  • Most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League group stage: 11 goals in 2015–16[290][291]
  • Most goals scored in UEFA Champions League knockout phase: 42 goals
  • Most UEFA Champions League goals scored in a calendar year: 15 goals in 2013[547]
  • Only player to score 15 or more UEFA Champions League goals in two different seasons: in 2013–2014 and 2015–2016[548]
  • The first player in the history of UEFA Champions League to score three hat-tricks in a single season: in 2015–2016[548]
  • Only footballer to have won the European Golden Shoe in two different leagues: English Premier League (2007–08) and Spanish La Liga (2010–11, 2013–14, 2014–15)[549]
  • Most goals scored in the UEFA European Championship, including qualifying: 26 goals, for Portugal[365]
  • First footballer to ever score 10 goals in four consecutive UEFA Champions League seasons: 2011–12 to 2014–15[550]
  • Only footballer to score for two different winning teams in the European Cup: Manchester United (2007–08) and Real Madrid (2013–14)[551]
  • Most away goals scored in Champions League history: 42 goals[552]
  • Most consecutive UEFA Champions League away games scored in: 12
  • Most wins in the UEFA Champions League Knockout phase: 29 wins
  • Most braces scored in the UEFA Champions League: 20
  • Most European Golden Shoe awards: 4[549]
  • Most UEFA Team of the Year appearances: 9 times[553]
  • Most consecutive appearances in the UEFA Team of the Year: 8 (2007–2014)[554]
  • Only player to be among the finalists for all the editions of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2010–11 to 2014–15[555]
  • Fastest player to score 350 goals for one club (335 games)[556]


  • Most hat-tricks in La Liga history: 30[557]
  • Fastest La Liga player to score 150 league goals (140 games)[535][558]
  • Fastest La Liga player to score 200 league goals (178 games)[535][9]
  • Fastest player to reach 300 official club goals[535]
  • Most consecutive Clásicos matches scored in: 6 matches[559]
  • Best scoring start in a Spanish league season: 15 goals in eight rounds[261]
  • Fastest footballer to score 20 league goals: 12 games (missed one game due to injury)[560]
  • Only player to reach 30 goals in six consecutive La Liga seasons[561]
  • Most teams scored against in a season (2012/13): 19 (shared with Ronaldo and Lionel Messi)[562]
  • Most La Liga hat-tricks in a season: 8 hat-tricks (shared with Lionel Messi)[563]
  • Most hat-tricks scored in all competitions: 36[535][564]

Sporting CP

  • The first player in the club's history to feature in the U16, U17, U18, B team and first team all in one season.[565]

Real Madrid

  • Real Madrid all-time top goalscorer: 360 goals[535][566]
  • Top goalscorer in La Liga: 256 goals[535][567]
  • Fastest player to reach 50 league goals[568]
  • Fastest player to reach 100 league goals[569]
  • Fastest player to reach 200 official goals[570]
  • Fastest player to reach 250 official goals[535]
  • Most goals scored in seven consecutive league matches: 15 goals[571]
  • First player to score in eight consecutive matchdays[572]
  • Most hat-tricks in Real Madrid's history: 37[535][564]
  • Real Madrid Record Goalscorer in UEFA Champions League: 78 goals[535]
  • Real Madrid Record Goalscorer in European Competitions: 80 goals*


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External links