48 Facts About Cristiano Ronaldo

1. Cristiano Ronaldo began his senior career with Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003, aged 18, winning the FA Cup in his first season.

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2. Cristiano Ronaldo won back-to-back Ballons d'Or in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017, and was runner-up three times behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival.

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3. Cristiano Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in 2003 at the age of 18 and has since earned over 180 caps, making him Portugal's most-capped player.

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4. Cristiano Ronaldo assumed captaincy of the national team in July 2008.

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5. In 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation.

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6. One of the world's most marketable and famous athletes, Cristiano Ronaldo was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world's most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019.

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7. Cristiano Ronaldo is the first footballer and the third sportsman to earn US$1 billion in his career.

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8. Cristiano Ronaldo grew up in an impoverished Catholic home, sharing a room with all his siblings.

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9. At age 16, Cristiano Ronaldo was promoted from Sporting's youth team by first-team manager Laszlo Boloni, who was impressed with his dribbling.

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10. Cristiano Ronaldo clashed with a teammate, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who took offence at the winger's showboating style of play.

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11. Cristiano Ronaldo was named runner-up to Kaka for the 2007 Ballon d'Or, and came third, behind Kaka and Lionel Messi, in the running for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

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12. Cristiano Ronaldo 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.

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13. At the close of 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo helped United win the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, assisting the final-winning goal against Liga de Quito and winning the Silver Ball in the process.

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14. Cristiano Ronaldo ended his time in England with nine trophies, as United claimed their third successive league title and a Football League Cup.

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15. Since club captain Raul already wore the number 7, Cristiano Ronaldo received the number 9 shirt, which was presented to him by former Madrid player Alfredo Di Stefano.

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16. Cristiano Ronaldo scored in each of his first four league games, the first Madrid player to do so.

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17. Midway through the season, Cristiano Ronaldo finished second in the 2009 Ballon d'Or and the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year awards, behind Messi.

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18. Cristiano Ronaldo finished as runner-up to Messi for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or, after scoring hat-tricks against Real Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano, Malaga, Osasuna and Sevilla, the last of which put Madrid on top of the league by the season's midway point.

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19. Cristiano Ronaldo found greater team success in the league, helping Madrid win their first league title in four years with a record 100 points.

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20. Cristiano Ronaldo helped Madrid reach the 2013 Copa del Rey Final by scoring twice in El Clasico, which marked the sixth successive match at Camp Nou in which he had scored, a club record.

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21. Cristiano Ronaldo received the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, an amalgamation of the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, for the first time in his career.

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22. Concurrently with his individual achievements, Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed his greatest team success in Spain to date, as he helped Madrid win La Decima, their tenth European Cup.

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23. At the age of 21 years and 132 days, Cristiano Ronaldo became the youngest ever goalscorer for Portugal at a World Cup finals.

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24. In Portugal's infamously dirty round of 16 match against the Netherlands, Cristiano Ronaldo was forced off injured in the first half after a tackle from Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz.

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25. Cristiano Ronaldo went on to score the vital winning penalty during the shoot-out which sent Portugal into the semi-finals.

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26. One day after his 22nd birthday, Cristiano Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first time in a friendly game against Brazil on 6 February 2007, as requested by Portuguese Football Federation president Carlos Silva, who had died two days earlier.

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27. Cristiano 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 and Herzegovina.

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28. At the start of the tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to convert his chances in Portugal's draws against Iceland and Austria, despite taking 20 shots on goal.

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29. Cristiano Ronaldo set a new record for scoring against the most national teams, 40, while completing his eighth international hat-trick.

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30. Versatile attacker, Cristiano Ronaldo is capable of playing on either wing as well as through the centre of the pitch, and, while ostensibly right-footed, is very strong with both feet.

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31. Cristiano Ronaldo developed into a prolific goalscorer, capable of finishing well both inside the penalty area and from distance with an accurate and powerful shot, courtesy of his striking ability.

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32. When taking free kicks, Cristiano Ronaldo is known for using the knuckleball technique, which was developed by Juninho Pernambucano.

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33. Cristiano Ronaldo adopts a trademark stance before striking the ball, which involves him standing with his legs far apart.

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34. At Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo continued to play a more offensive role, while his creative and defensive duties became more limited, although not entirely diminished.

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35. Cristiano Ronaldo continued to play a similar role in his second season with the club under manager Maurizio Sarri.

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36. Some commentators choose to analyse the differing physiques and playing styles of the two, Part of the debate revolves around the contrasting personalities of the two players, as Cristiano Ronaldo is sometimes depicted as an arrogant and theatrical showoff, while Messi is portrayed as a shy, humble character.

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37. Cristiano Ronaldo opened a fashion boutique under the name CR7 on the island of Madeira in 2006 and opened a second in Lisbon in 2008.

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38. In partnership with Scandinavian manufacturer JBS Textile Group and the New York fashion designer Richard Chai, Cristiano Ronaldo co-designed a range of underwear and sock line, released in November 2013.

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39. Cristiano Ronaldo expanded his CR7 fashion brand by launching a line of premium shirts and shoes in July 2014.

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40. In September 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo released his own fragrance, "Legacy", in a partnership with Eden Parfums.

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41. In December 2013, Cristiano Ronaldo opened a museum, Museu CR7, in his hometown of Funchal, Madeira, to house trophies and memorabilia; the museum is an official sponsor of the local football team Uniao da Madeira.

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42. In June 2010, during the build-up to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo became the fourth footballer to be represented as a waxwork at Madame Tussauds London.

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43. In January 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo announced that his five-year relationship with Russian model Irina Shayk had ended.

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44. In support of the victims of the 2010 Madeira flood, Cristiano Ronaldo pledged to play in a charity match in Madeira between Primeira Liga club Porto and players from Madeiran-based clubs Maritimo and Nacional.

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45. In December 2012, Cristiano 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.

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46. In January 2013, Cristiano Ronaldo became Save the Children's new Global Artist Ambassador, in which he hopes to help fight child hunger and obesity.

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47. In March 2013, Cristiano Ronaldo agreed to be the ambassador for The Mangrove Care Forum in Indonesia, an organisation aiming to raise awareness of mangrove conservation.

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48. In June 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo donated the entirety of his €600,000 Champions League bonus after Real Madrid won the Champions League.

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