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Cristiano Ronaldo: The Iconic Soccer Player

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Cristiano Ronaldo, full name Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, is a Portuguese football (soccer) forward who was one of the best players of his generation. He was born on February 5, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira.

Early Life and Career

José Dinis Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo father, oversaw the equipment for the neighbourhood team Andorinha. Cristiano’s name was changed to Cristiano Ronaldo to commemorate Ronald Reagan, the American president at the time of Cristiano’s birth and one of his father’s favourite movie actors. Cristiano Ronaldo had a cardiac problem that required surgery when he was 15 years old, but he recovered well and was only temporarily sidelined. He began his career with the Madeira-based Clube Desportivo Nacional before switching to Sporting Clube de Portugal (often known as Sporting Lisbon), where he played for many of the club’s minor squads until making his first-team Sporting debut in 2002.

At 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 metres), Cristiano Ronaldo was a big player and a powerful athlete. He switched from being a right winger to become a striker with a free-flowing attacking style. He was able to hypnotise his opponents with a sleight of foot that created enough room for gaps in their defences.

Club play

Cristiano Ronaldo joined for English powerhouse Manchester United in 2003 after a great season with Sporting that attracted the interest of Europe’s top football teams. He became famous right away and was instantly considered as one of the top attackers in the league. His best year at United was the 2007–08 campaign, during which he scored 42 League and Cup goals and won the Golden Shoe award for being Europe’s top scorer with 31 League goals. Ronaldo won the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Player of the Year award for his outstanding 2007–08 campaign after helping United win the Champions League in May 2008. Additionally, under his leadership, United reached the 2009 Champions League final, where they were defeated by FC Barcelona.

Soon after, Ronaldo was traded to Real Madrid of Spain for a then-record transfer price of £80 million (about $131 million). This club had been linked to Ronaldo for some time. With his new squad, his goal-scoring prowess continued, and during the 2010–11 season, he scored the most goals (40) in La Liga history. (his record was broken the following season by his rival Lionel Messi of Barcelona). Cristiano Ronaldo scored a career-high 46 goals during the La Liga season in 2011–12, helping Real Madrid win the league title. He won his second FIFA World Player of the Year title in 2013 after tallying 66 goals over 56 games for Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team (the FIFA World Player of the Year was renamed the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010). In 2014, Cristiano Ronaldo won another Ballon d’Or trophy after scoring 52 goals in 43 games and helping Madrid win the Champions League. He scored 48 goals in 2014–15 to lead La Liga in scoring. In October 2015, Ronaldo scored his 324th goal for Real to surpass Pele as the club’s all-time best scorer. He contributed to Real winning a record 11th Champions League championship in 2015–16 with his 35 La Liga goals, and in December 2016 he was awarded his fourth Ballon d’Or of his career in recognition of his achievements. In 2016–17, Ronaldo led Real to the La Liga and Champions League championships in addition to scoring 42 goals for the club in all competitions. This performance earned him his fifth Ballon d’Or prize in his professional career. He scored 44 goals in 44 appearances in 2017–18, and Real won the Champions League for the third consecutive year.

He signed a four-year deal for €112 million (about $132 million) with Juventus, a dominant team in Italy, in July 2018. He scored 311 goals in 292 games to cap his Real Madrid career. He scored 28 goals in his debut season at Juventus, which was the fewest domestic goals he had scored since his last year with Manchester United, and the dominant team won the Italian league for the seventh consecutive year. Ronaldo assisted the team in winning the league once again in the 2019–20 campaign. Juventus went on to win the Supercoppa Italiana in 2020 and the Coppa Italia Final in 2021. He left Juventus and went back to Manchester United a few months after the later game. However, his second spell with the club was a failure. Ronaldo suffered along with Manchester, and he revealed increasing discontent with the team. His contract was “mutually” ended in November 2022. Ronaldo joined the Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr the following month.

International career

After progressing through the junior and under-21 categories, Cristiano Ronaldo made his full national team debut for Portugal against Kazakhstan in August 2003. (four days after his debut for United). He was a significant contributor to Portugal’s fourth-place World Cup performance in 2006, and in 2008, he was named the team’s full-time captain. His outstanding performance in 2012 propelled Portugal to the European Championship semifinals, where they were defeated by rival Spain in a game determined by a shootout. Ronaldo entered the 2014 global Cup fresh off of winning his second award for global player of the year, but he struggled during the competition and Portugal as a whole suffered during a group-stage elimination. He assisted Portugal in winning the 2016 European Championship, the nation’s first major international tournament victory, despite only participating briefly in the match due to a knee injury he had suffered earlier in the game. Ronaldo had an outstanding World Cup, scoring four goals in four games to help Portugal reach the knockout phase before losing its first game against a Uruguay team known for its powerful defence. Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five separate World Cups four years later. He missed out on multiple starting lineups, however, and Portugal’s 2022 World Cup campaign concluded with a defeat in the semifinals.

In addition to being one of the most well-known sportsmen off the field, multiple studies on athlete popularity revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo was, during the height of his playing career, the most famous athlete in the whole globe. Ronaldo became one of the highest-paid endorsers in sports history because to his immense popularity, and in November 2016 he became the third person to sign a “lifetime” deal with the sportswear firm Nike (joining basketball greats LeBron James and Michael Jordan). He also created his own popular “CR7” range of goods, which included shoes, undergarments, and perfumes. A legal dispute that surfaced in June 2017 was centred on Ronaldo’s enormous marketability. In the same month, prosecutors filed a complaint accusing Ronaldo of disguising his image-rights revenue in Spain from 2011 to 2014 in order to defraud the Spanish government of €14.7 million ($16.5 million). Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of underestimating his revenue from the selling and licencing of his image rights and the associated tax liabilities, but he vigorously refuted all claims. However, he consented to a two-year jail term with a suspension in June 2018 and paid the Spanish government $21.8 million ($18.8 million) to resolve the matter.

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