Cristiano Ronaldo: One of the Greatest Footballers of All Time
There have been many great footballers throughout the history of the sport, but there are very few that can be considered as one of the greatest of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo is one such player. He has redefined what it means to be a striker and has rightfully earned his place among the greatest players in history. With his blistering pace, impeccable shooting ability, and lightning acceleration, he is widely regarded as one of the most complete players in modern football. Even though he is now 33 years old, he still continues playing at an extremely high level and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Although he began his career primarily as a winger with great dribbling abilities, he transitioned into a striker so naturally it was as if he was born to do so. Even after spending almost two decades in professional football, this man from Portugal still has plenty of gas left in his tank – and that’s saying something given how much Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished in his career so far. Here is Everything You Need To Know About CR7
The Early Years:
Ronaldo was born on February 5th, 1985, in the city of Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Ronaldo grew up in a poor household in Madeira, Portugal. During his childhood, he would play football using any ball he could get his hands on – from grapefruit to the beach ball. His mother, Maria Dolores, was a housekeeper and his father, Jose Dinha, was a gardener by profession. As a child, he was diagnosed with a racing heartbeat and was given medicine for that. Ronaldo had five siblings. As a youngster, Ronaldo showed a knack for football, and at the age of five, Ronaldo started playing football with the local kids in Funchal. Ronaldo’s talent quickly became apparent and he started playing for various youth teams, before finally making the jump to the senior team. At the age of 11, Ronaldo was invited to attend a football camp in Lisbon, and it was there where he first realized his potential in football.
The Rise to Fame:
At the age of 15, he was offered a contract to join Sporting Lisbon, one of the top football clubs in Portugal. During his time there, he developed into one of the most promising young footballers in the world, and it was expected that he would go onto become a great footballer. In 2002, after a season with the U-19 team, he was called up to play for the U-20 team, where he won the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
By the age of 18, Ronaldo was already a world-class footballer:
Although he was a phenomenal talent as a teenager, he had to wait until the age of 18 to be called up to play for the national team. After he was invited to play for the senior team, he scored 8 goals in 10 appearances. In the same year, he was awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was a clear indication that he had what it takes to become one of the greatest footballers in history. He also received the Ballon d’Or, which is the award given to the best footballer of the year.
Ronaldo joined Manchester United in 2003 and stayed there for 6 years:
In 2003, Ronaldo was signed by Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, for a transfer fee of £12 million. In his first season with the club, he scored 16 goals in 26 appearances. In the following season, he scored 42 goals in all competitions, which remains a club record to this day. In his 6-year stint with the club, he won 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, and 1 UEFA Champions League title. Although he was an exceptional footballer for the club, there were times when his relationship with the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was a little sour.
In 2009, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid for a record fee of €94 million:
In 2009, Ronaldo was offered a contract worth €94 million to join Real Madrid. This was a record fee at the time, which is still unmatched as of now. In his first season with the club, he scored 34 goals in all competitions. In his 3-year stint with the club, he won 2 La Liga titles and 1 Copa del Rey title. In the last-16 round of the 2011-12 Champions League, he scored the fastest hat-trick in the history of the competition, which took him just 2 minutes and 25 seconds. In the same competition, he scored a goal against Barcelona that was so spectacular, it was compared to the famous “Panenka penalty”. During his stay in Real Madrid, Ronaldo has scored 311 goals in 292 appearances.
Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win 5 Champions League titles:
Since joining Real Madrid, Ronaldo has helped the club win 5 Champions League titles. In the 2017-18 season, he scored 15 goals in the group stage of the competition, which was a new record. His overall tally of 15 goals equated to the most number of goals scored in a single Champions League season. He won the UEFA Men’s Best Player award in the same year. He has recorded the most number of Champions League hat-tricks (5) ever since the inception of the competition in the year 1955.
Back to Juventus:
In the year of 2018, Ronaldo returned to his youth club Juventus. There, he stayed for next three years scoring 98goals in 81 appearances for the club.
Re-joining Manchester United:
Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United in 2021 and has already scored 100 goals for his club. However, his clud shown a disastrous result by finishing at the sixth position of the Premier League point table. Moreover, Ronaldo ended his season without any trophy after 2010.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s international career:
Ronaldo has represented Portugal in every major tournament since 2003, including the 2004 Olympic tournament. In a group stage match against the United States, he scored two goals, which helped Portugal win the match 3-2. He also scored a goal against Sweden to help Portugal progress to the next round. In the knockout phase, he scored a hat-trick against Iran to help Portugal progress to the semi-finals. In the same match, he scored yet another goal to help Portugal win the match by 5-3 against Iran. In the final against the Netherlands, he scored two goals to help Portugal win the match by 1-0, and win the tournament. In the 2006 World Cup, he scored two goals to help Portugal progress to the next round. In the Round of 16 against the Netherlands, he scored a goal and an assist in the match to help Portugal win the match by 2-1. So far, he holds the record of highest goal scoring for Portugal.
Even before his playing career blossomed, Ronaldo had started his charity work. At the age of 16, he joined Real’s youth academy. His work took him away from football for a few years but he continued to give to charity during this time.
His first charity was Save the Children. Every year he dropped in on the program and encouraged the aid workers to do their best cope with the realities of the children’s lives.
Not long after leaving Manchester United in 2004, the Cristiano Ronaldo Foundation for Children was established. He donated money for needy children to rebuild schools in Shiraz in Iran. The football legend also gave generously to charities helping underprivileged kids in Africa. Later in his career, Cristiano Ronaldo became engaged in fundraising to fight poverty and to undo racial discrimination against Africans and Arabs.
Awards and achievements:
Ronaldo has had a great career. Attaining the number one position is a remarkable achievement. With all these awards, he earns 100 million euros a year. But that is just the most important achievement. He also had an incredible comeback in 2006 when he had an asthmatic attack that kept him out of the field for 10 months. That happened when he scored his 22nd goal in a row and makes him the highest capped player in the history of the world. He had to overcome early injuries that forced him to miss the first half of the 2006-2007 season. When he returned, he continued his momentum with a strong start. He has won many individual accolades in his career so far
In 2008-09 and 2011-12, he was also named the UEFA Player of the Year. In 2008-09 and 2013-14, he was named the Spanish Player of the Year. In the 2008-09 season, he was named the Premier League Player of the Season. In the same season, he was also named the FIFPro World Young Player of the Year. In 2009-10, he was named the FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time in his career. In 2012-13, he was named the UEFA Best Player in Europe. In 2013-14, he became the first footballer to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy for a second time in his career. So far, he has won Ballon d’or for a record of five times. Presently, he holds the record of all time highest goal scorer as an International players besides holding the record of scoring most hat-trick (10 times) in international match.