Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who currently plays for Juventus FC as a forward.
He is considered one of the best players ever to have set foot on the pitch.
He has won the Ballon d’Or award five times and is tied with Messi who is often considered his main rival.
Ronaldo has played for four different clubs in his senior footballing career in four different countries.
Let us go through the infographic here and read on for more about his journey from nothing to everything.
Cristiano made the breakthrough when Sir Alex Ferguson, former coach of Manchester United, realized his potential when his team faced Ronaldo’s Sporting CP in a friendly. Ferguson instantly went through negotiations to buy Ronaldo for a price of £12.24 million, which made him, at the time, the most expensive teenage player.
Ronaldo won numerous titles for Manchester United and many individual titles such as Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year for the first time.
Ronaldo was fast, had exceptional skills on-the-ball and great off-the-ball movement.
His dribbling combined with various moves such as step-overs and chops were mesmerizing and a headache for the opposing team.
Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid in 2009 for a World Record transfer fee and soon dominated Spanish football.
He helped Real Madrid which at the time of his arrival was failing in competitions, to get back to winning titles.
Ronaldo was the top scorer for Madrid in all the seasons he was there. After winning three consecutive Champions League titles for Real Madrid and winning multiple individual titles during the span of Real Madrid career, he moved to Juventus FC at the age of 33.
He is currently the top scorer of the Juventus FC team in the 18-19 season.
From a young age, Ronaldo was a major part of success for the Portugal national team. He led his team to the Euro 2004 finals, which ended in a loss to Greece. Ronaldo became a permanent starter for Portugal and became captain for the first time back in 2007 at the age of 22. He has helped to win the Euro Cup 2016 for Portugal and is the all-time second-leading goal scorer for a national team with 85 goals. He became the oldest player to score a hattrick in the World Cup in 2018. Despite his efforts, Portugal failed to reach the finals.
Ronaldo is a father of four, the eldest son being Cristiano Jr. who is a little star on social media. He is currently in a relationship with Georgina Rodriguez. Ronaldo started his own brand “CR7” starting with a boutique back in 2006, which now spreads to CR7 fashion and Pestana CR7.
A movie, “Ronaldo” was released in 2015, directed by BAFTA winner Anthony Wonke. Madeira Airport was renamed “Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport” in his honor. A Ronaldo Statue and a Ronaldo Bust were unveiled back in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
He also has the biggest fanbase in social media, he is the most followed person on Facebook. Also, he recently overtook Selena Gomez in the number of followers in Instagram and currently has 145 million followers.
There are numerous speculations about Ronaldo’s net worth. We all know he would definitely be rich. As per CNBC, it is estimated that he is worth nearly $450 million.
The teenager who fought his way to greatness
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in Madeira, Portugal to Jose Dinis Aveiro and Maria Dolores in 1985, and was the youngest child of the couple. Ronaldo's father was a municipal gardener and an equipment manager for the local team Andorinha where Ronaldo started his amateur football career in 1992. He was named after Ronald Reagan, the US president at the time, of whom his father was a fan.
At the age of 12, he was signed by the famous Portuguese club, Sporting CP, which made him move to a new place near Lisbon. Ronaldo chose to leave school education to follow a football career by getting permission from his mother and also because he was facing disciplinary action at school. Soon afterwards, he underwent a surgery when he was diagnosed with a heart condition which would have ended his career. Ronaldo made a full recovery and came back to the Sporting CP under-16 squad and was promoted to the senior team in the same season because of his mind-blowing talent.
He debuted in the Portuguese league in 2002 scoring two goals.
In 2003, Manchester United came to the turf of Sporting CP to play a friendly match, to the amazement of many, they were defeated for a 3-1 score, where a young Ronaldo ran circles around the opposition's defense. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United players were keen to sign him on because he was the most talented teenager they had seen. Sir Ferguson started his move to sign Ronaldo and Sporting let go of him for a record amount of £12.24 million for a player of age 18. Ferguson insisted on giving him the number 7 shirt previously worn by Manchester United legends like Cantona, Beckham, and Best, while Ronaldo requested number 28. The number was a motivation to the young Ronaldo who strived to reach the top.
Cr7 was electrifying in his debut, and Manchester United fans welcomed him with open arms. The staff and ex-players were all impressed with Ronaldo who set a blistering pace and had great control. Ronaldo continued playing in both wings, taking on the opposition one-on-one and beating them, creating chances for his team. Ronaldo ended the first season with a trophy, the FA Cup.
He scored 23 goals and assisted 15 times in the 2006-2007 season, which laid the foundation of his goal-scoring ability, he also helped United to reach the FA Cup final, where they lost to Chelsea. Manchester regained the Premier League title after four years.
In the next 2007-08 season Ronaldo scored a massive 42 goals in all competitions and record-breaking 31 goals in Premier League. He was the runner-up in Ballon’d’Or for the performance in the previous season, losing out to Kaka. The 2007-08 season is said to be the best one he had with Manchester United because he won the Premier League and Champions League He was the top scorer. He received the Premier League Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe. He was named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year due to his outstanding performance in Champions League where United beat Chelsea in the final.
The next season started not so excitingly as he had a surgery which kept him out of field more multiple weeks. After the return, Ronaldo scored the 100th goal for Manchester United in all competitions. Later, helped United win the FIFA Club World Cup.
For his performance, Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or for the first time, and also Fifa World Player of the Year. He also received the inaugural Puskas Award for the best goal for the one scored against Porto. Ronaldo couldn’t perform up to his potential in the final of Champions League against Barcelona when they lost 2-0. Ronaldo scored 26 in all competitions in 2008-09. After winning nine titles for Manchester United, Ronaldo planned to move to Real Madrid, and United accepted a world record transfer fee at the time of £84.60 million. Ronaldo bid goodbye to the team which made him what he was; he later told that Sir Alex Ferguson was like a father who shaped a great career. From a young, weak teenager, Ronaldo left being the World’s Best Player, achieving honors that none other could. Came as a boy, left as a Star.
Madrid gave the biggest reception to the Superstar they bought, why not, he is the best player in the world, the number of spectators that came to see his presentation were in thousands. Ronaldo was presented with number 9 because Madrid legend Raul was still wearing number 7, Ronaldo got back his favorite 7 when Raul left the next year.
Ronaldo came to a new club in a new country but didn’t take much time to settle in. He was already scoring for Real Madrid, even scored on the first four league games. His first season was a mixture of ups and downs mainly due to an injury he suffered which sidelined him for about seven weeks and was runner-up his Ballon d’Or and Fifa World Player of the Year. But still, Ronaldo was able to score 33 goals even though his first season ended trophyless. He wins his first trophy in Spain, Copa Del Ray, during the 2010-2011 season and scores a record-breaking 40 goals in La Liga. Ronaldo won the European Golden Shoe becoming the first player to win it in two different leagues and also the Pichichi Trophy.
2011-12 season he broke in his own record by scoring an unbelievable 60 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid. Real Madrid won their First La Liga title in four years, similar to what he has done in Manchester United.
Ronaldo went on to win multiples titles later on, and his second Ballon d’Or in 2013. Ronaldo scored a record 17 goals in Champions league during the 2013-2014 season, giving Real Madrid their Tenth UCL title, which was something Real Madrid wanted so much. Ronaldo extended his contract just before the season and proved why he deserved to be paid such salary.
Ronaldo continued to be the Top scorer for Real Madrid in La Liga and Champions League in consecutive seasons. He made his place in history by leading Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions league titles in 2016,2017 and 2018 in which he was the Top Scorer. He won 5 Champions League titles when even other clubs have only lesser than that in their entire history. Ronaldo also led Real Madrid to a La Liga title in the 2016-2017 season. Ronaldo won 4 FIFA Ballon d’Or while playing for Real Madrid and a total of 5 Ballon d'Or. Cristiano is the leading goal scorer for Real Madrid with 450 goals from an impossible 438 matches. He broke numerous records and won multiple titles in Real Madrid.
He left Real Madrid in July 2018, to Juventus FC for a total amount of €117 million, the highest transfer fee for a player older than 30. Ronaldo's move to Juventus has been accepted professionally by both management and fans.
Currently, Ronaldo played 15 games for Juventus scoring nine goals and assisting six. He scored his first goal for Juventus in a match against his former club Manchester United which ended in defeat. Juventus started the season with their best performance in history, not losing a single match until they faced Manchester United in the Champions League.
Ronaldo made his senior debut for Portugal at the age of 18 against Kazakhstan. When he was called for Euro 2004, Portugal reached the final but lost to Greece. Ronaldo featured in the Team of the Tournament by scoring and assisting with two goals.
In World Cup 2006, Ronaldo created a controversy by complaining against Rooney of England, his club team-mate, when they faced each other in the quarter-finals. Rooney was sent off. Portugal eventually lost to France in the final.
Ronaldo captained Portugal in 2007 and was given Jersey number 7 before EURO 2008, but Portugal failed to shine.
In the 2010 World Cup, he played well in the group stages grabbing all Man of the Match awards but failed to reach the finals, losing the title to Spain later.
Euro 2012 went well for Ronaldo until Spain defeated his team in a Penalty Shootout, in which Ronaldo lined up as the fifth taker.
They lost before his turn came.
Cr7 earned his 100th cap during the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifications. In March 2014, he became Portugal’s all-time top scorer.
Ronaldo went to the World Cup with an injury which had a negative effect on him throughout.
However scoring a goal, even in this condition, made him the only Portuguese to score in three World Cups.
Ronaldo became the most capped player for Portugal on his 128th international appearance. He became the first player to score in four European Championships by scoring in Euro 2016 and also became the all-time top scorer in the competition at nine goals (tied with Michel Platini). In the final against France, Ronaldo was injured early into the game and was stretchered off the pitch. However, Portugal went on to win the match, and Ronaldo lifted the trophy and won Silver Boot. It was the Country’s major title, and Ronaldo was part of history.
He broke several records including the All-time European Goalscorer and All-time Goalscorer in World Cup qualifications and finals combined.
Cristiano Ronaldo started the FIFA World Cup 2018 with a hattrick against Spain, becoming the oldest player to do so and the first Portuguese player to score in four World Cups. Later on, Uruguay eliminated Portugal ensuring their exit in the 16th Round.
Ronaldo has transformed himself according to his team, his age, and role. having started as a winger, who typically dribbles past players, Ronaldo is now a Goal Poacher in Juventus. Ronaldo’s style was to sprint into the box in Manchester United. He was also sometimes given a free hand to exploit holes in the defense. Ronaldo then transformed his body, gaining muscle, to improve physical strength against body tackles and pushes.
With aerial abilities in his repertoire, he was soon the best header in Football.
Cr7 eventually became a goal-scoring machine in Real Madrid, often cutting through to the center from left. It helped that he had a powerful kick. Ronaldo also possessed defensive skills such as cutting pass lanes and pressuring.
Ronaldo is famous for the Knuckle Ball free kicks (in which he became a master while in Manchester United). He also became one of the best penalty takers in the history of football.
Due to his age, he has reduced his sprinting to save stamina and energy to get a huge starting burst during counter attacks.
Ronaldo is a complete footballer who can score through headers, both legs, free kicks, and penalties.
He has improved his positioning because he has wanted to become a target man for both Real Madrid and Juventus for many years.
Ronaldo's adaptability and vision have helped him to remain on the top level of football for such long years.
His mental strength to come to a league dominated by top-class players like Messi is something worthy of praise. He has persevered to become the best and help Real Madrid to achieve the impossible.
Cr7 was never afraid to face challenges and always stood ahead: A role model for the youth who aim for greatness.