Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best athletes the football world has ever seen! He’s not only the main talisman for Real Madrid, but also captains the Portugal National Team.
The following are some known Cristiano Ronaldo facts, who is also referred to by many as the “best football player of all time.”
Top Facts About Cristiano Ronaldo
1- Cristiano’s full name is actually Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro.
2- He was born on February 5, 1985, on the island of Madeira, Portugal.
3- His second name “Ronaldo” was given after the Actor-turned-President of the US, Ronald Reagan, who was his father’s favorite actor.
4- Cristiano Ronaldo is the youngest of his siblings.
5- He was born in hardship and had no toys to play with as a kid. His father was a kit man at a local club and his mother was a cook.
6- Ronaldo once threw a chair at his teacher, after which he was expelled from school. When asked for the reason behind his anger, he said that the teacher had disrespected him.
7- At just age 10, Ronaldo’s parents decided that he should pursue a career in sports. His father admitted him to a youth club where he worked as a kit man and gardener.
8- Ronaldo played for an amateur team, Andorinha, from 1992 to 1995, and moved to Nacional for the next two years.
9- At age 12, Ronaldo went on a 3-day trial run for Sporting and was signed for £1,500 for the club.
10- Ronaldo and his friend Albert played in the under-18 championship. Only the top scorer was to be selected for the championship. Both Ronaldo and Albert were joint top-scorers until the final game.
Albert took the lead with his first goal. Ronaldo followed up. Albert again got into a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. Instead of scoring, he passed the ball to Ronaldo who scored and was selected for the academy.
When asked why he passed, he replied that Ronaldo was a better player than him.
11- Ronaldo made it into Sporting’s first-team at age 16 after impressing his manager with his dribbling skills.
12- He became the club’s first player to play for the club’s under-16, under-17 and under-18 teams, the B team, and the first team, all in one season.
13- Ronaldo scored a brace on his debut in the Primeira Liga. Sporting won that fixture 3-0.
14- Ronaldo found himself in demand by the top clubs in Europe. Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Arsenal were all eager to sign him.
15- In a friendly against Manchester United, Ronaldo was so impressive that Alex Ferguson went into the Director’s room at half-time and urged Martin Edwards to sign him immediately. He wrote in his biography that all of his first-team players wanted Ronaldo to play as a Manchester United player.
16- Real Madrid were the highest bidders for Ronaldo at that point. On Ferguson’s insistence, United paid an extra £1 million Euro, as well as the guarantee that if they were to accept an offer for Ronaldo, they would first have to return him back to Sporting for the exact same fee.
(Later when he joined Real Madrid for €94 million, he was offered to Sporting for the same fee but they couldn’t afford him).
17- Ronaldo donned the famous Number 7 shirt at Manchester United, which was previously worn by Eric Cantona, George Best, and David Beckham.
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18- Cristiano preferred the number 28 shirt initially, but wore the number 7 shirt on Alex Ferguson’s insistence. He is still considered the best United player to don this legendary shirt.
19- Cristiano Ronaldo was the first ever Portuguese to play for Manchester United.
20- His transfer fee of £12.24 million made him the most expensive teenager in English football history.
21- Alex Ferguson’s mentorship is considered to be the main reason behind Ronaldo’s success. He later said, “He’s been my father in sport, one of the most important and influential factors in my career.”
22- Ronaldo received a standing ovation from the crowd at Old Trafford when he made his debut in the Premier League. He came on as a 60th minute substitute for Nicky Butt. George Best hailed it as “undoubtedly the most exciting debut” he had ever seen.
23- Cristiano earned his first senior cap at age 18 against Kazakhstan on August 20, 2003.
24- Cristiano was featured in the team of the tournament in the UEFA Euro 2004.
25- Ronaldo’s first goal for United came as a free-kick in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth. He scored 4 league goals, and also scored the opening goal in the FA Cup final against Milwall that United won 3-0.
26- Ronaldo scored Manchester United’s 1000th Premier League goal, which came on October 29, 2005.
27- Ronaldo was involved in a ground fight with Ruud van Nilsterooy who told Ronaldo to “go crying to your daddy,” a reference for assistant manager Carlos Queiroz. It was especially harsh considering that Ronaldo’s father had recently died because of Liver failure.
28- During the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo was involved in an incident where Wayne Rooney was sent off in the England vs Portugal fixture. His wink was misunderstood by the England supporters and he was grilled on TV and everywhere else in England. Ronaldo publicly asked for a transfer after the incident, but Alex Ferguson consoled him to stay at the club.
29- An important factor behind Ronaldo’s incredible success as a player was his one-to-one training sessions with Rene Meulensteen, who taught him to be unpredictable, improve his teamwork, call for the ball, and capitalize on goal-scoring opportunities rather than waiting for the chance to score the aesthetically pleasing goals, which have become his signature.
30- Cristiano scored his first World Cup goal against Iran in the 2006 World Cup fixture.
31- Ronaldo was named Premier League Player of the Month consecutively in November and December of 2006, becoming only the third player to receive consecutive honors.
32- Only a day after his 22nd birthday, Cristiano captained Portugal for the first time against Brazil on February 6, 2007.
33- Ronaldo scored his first-ever Champions League goal in the quarter-final stage during the 2006-07 season.
34- For his impressive contributions throughout the 2006-07 campaign, Cristiano was awarded 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, becoming the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA honors.
35- Ronaldo scored 42 goals in the 2007-08 season, which was his most prolific campaign during his time in England.
36- His first goal of the 2007-08 campaign came against his former club, Sporting.
37- At the end of 2007, Cristiano was named runner-up to Kaka for the Ballon d’Or trophy, and came third for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
38- Ronaldo scored his only hat-trick for Manchester United against Newcastle United on January 12, 2008.
39- Ronaldo captained Manchester United for the first time on March 19 and scored both goals that won his team the fixture. His second goal was his 33rd of the season, which beat George Best’s total of 32 goals that he scored in the 1967-68 campaign, thus setting the club’s new single-season record of the most goals by a midfielder.
40- Carlos Queiroz made Ronaldo the permanent captain of the Portuguese National Team in July 2008.
41- His 31 Premier League goals have earned him the coveted golden boot award, as well as the European Golden Shoe, making him the first winger to win the prestigious award.
42- At the end of the campaign, Ronaldo’s contributions not only won his team the Premier League trophy but also the UEFA Champions League.
43- As the Champions League top scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo was named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year. Additionally, he received PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, as well as the FWA Footballer of the Year award for the second consecutive season.
44- Cristiano wanted to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid after the 2007-08 season. United filed a complaint, which was declined, to the FIFA governing body over Madrid’s alleged pursuit for their player. Sepp Blatter described the situation as “modern slavery,” asserting that the player should be allowed to leave the club if he wants to. Cristiano agreed with this statement publicly.
45- Alex Ferguson writes in his biography that he stopped Ronaldo from joining Real Madrid in 2008, saying that he’d rather shoot him then let him join Madrid that year. He gave his word that Ronaldo can leave next season, if Real Madrid bids the right offer, which they did in the 2009 summer window.
46- In the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Ronaldo scored his 100th goal in all competitions for United. That goal also meant that he had scored against all the 19 opposition teams in the Premier League at the time.
47- Cristiano won the Ballon d’Or at the end of 2009, becoming the first United player since George Best to lift the prestigious award. He also became the first Premier League player ever to be named the FIFA World Player of the Year.
48- Ronaldo scored a free kick from a distance of 40-yards in the second leg against Porto. That strike earned him the inaugural FIFA Puskas Award, which is presented by FIFA in recognition of the best goal of the year.
49- Ronaldo ended his time in England with nine trophies, with United claiming their third successive Premier League trophy, as well as the Football League Cup.
50- Ronaldo’s first and last goals for Manchester United came from a free kick.
51- Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee at the time (€94 million).
52- At least 80,000 fans came to attend Ronaldo’s presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, surpassing the 25-year record of 75,000 fans who came to welcome Diego Maradona at Napoli.
53- Ronaldo scored in each of his first four league fixtures, becoming the first Madrid player to do so.
54- Ronaldo’s first Champions League goals for Real Madrid came from two free kick goals in the group fixture against Zurich.
55- Ronaldo scored four goals in a fixture for the first time in the 6-1 rout against Racing Santander on October 23, 2010.
56- Cristiano scored the match-winning goal in the 103rd minute in the el-Clasico Copa del Rey final, which won him his first trophy in Spain.
57- Ronaldo scored 40 goals in La Liga in his second season, becoming the first player ever to do so. He earned the Pichichi trophy for being the top La Liga goal-scorer.
58- Ronaldo won the European Golden Shoe in the same season, becoming the first player ever to win it in two different leagues. He scored a total of 53 goals in all competitions.
59- During the 2011-12 season, Ronaldo broke his previous record and scored 60 goals in all competitions. His 100th goal came against Barcelona in the Camp Nou.
60- Because of Ronaldo’s contributions, Real Madrid won the 2011-12 La Liga title with a record 100 points.
61- Ronaldo scored his 100th League goal in just 92 matches in his 3rd season, breaking the previous record held by Ferenc Puskas.
62- His goal against Mallorca earned him the distinction of being the first player ever to score against all 19 opposition teams in a single season in La Liga.
63- Cristiano captained Real Madrid for the first time on January 6, 2013 against Real Sociedad.
64- Ronaldo became the first non-Spanish player in 60 years to captain the El Clasico on January 30, 2013.
65- Cristiano scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid on May 8 2013, reaching the landmark in just 197 games.
66- Ronaldo scored 12 goals in the 2012-13 Champions League, becoming the Champions League top scorer for the second time in his career.
67- Cristiano was featured in the 2012 UEFA Euro team of the tournament for his incredible performances.
68- Cristiano scored his first International hat-trick against Northern Ireland on September 6, 2013.
69- Ronaldo became the highest paid player in football when he signed a contract worth €17 million at the start of 2013-14 season.
70- Cristiano scored a total of 69 goals in 59 appearances at the end of 2013, his highest year-end goal tally. He won his second Ballon d’Or for these achievements.
71- Cristiano enjoyed his greatest team success in Spain at the end of 2013-14 season, when he won the La Decima (Madrid’s 10th Champions League trophy) as well as the Copa del Rey trophy.
72- Cristiano scored from the penalty spot in the 2013-14 Champions League final, becoming the first player to score in the final on two separate occasions.
73- Cristiano broke the all-time Champions League record for most goals in a single season, scoring 17 goals throughout the campaign. He was named UEFA Best Player in Europe for his contributions.
74- Cristiano is one of the very few players who have scored a goal in each minute of a 90-minute game.
75- Cristiano won his second Pichichi, and his 3rd European Golden Shoe at the end of the campaign.
76- Cristiano’s goal against Ghana was his 50th International goal which also made him the first Portuguese to score in three World Cups.
77- Ronaldo lifted his first FIFA Club World Cup with Madrid, and received his third FIFA Ballon d’Or, becoming the 5th player ever to reach the landmark.
78- Ronaldo finished the 2014-15 campaign as the Champions League top scorer for the third consecutive season with his tally of 10 goals.
79- Cristiano took his hat-trick tally to 31 during his time in Real Madrid, surpassing Di Stefano’s club record of 28 hat-tricks.
80- Ronaldo became Real Madrid all-time top scorer in the league, and then in all competitions at the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
81- Ronaldo also became the all-time Champions League top scorer, breaking Raul’s record and surpassing Lionel Messi’s tally of 77 goals.
82- Cristiano also scored his 500th career goal for both club and country in the 2015-16 campaign.
83- On March 5, 2016, Cristiano scored his 252nd La Liga goal, becoming the competition’s second-highest goal-scorer behind Messi.
84- Cristiano lifted his 3rd Champions League trophy after scoring the final penalty in the penalty-shootout against Atletico Madrid.
85- He had scored 50+ goals in the 6th consecutive season across all competitions.
86- Cristiano overtook Luis Figo, becoming his country’s most capped player during the UEFA Euro 2016.
87- In the semi-final of the competition, Cristiano became the first player to appear in 3 UEFA Euro semi-finals.
88- As the captain of Portugal, Cristiano lifted the 2016 UEFA Euro trophy, which was his nation’s first ever International prize. He was awarded the Silver Boot as the joint second-highest goal scorer, and was named in the team of the tournament for the third time in his career.
89- Cristiano scored a hat-trick in the Club World Cup final at the end of 2016.
90- Cristiano won his fourth Ballon d’Or, as well as the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player award at the end of 2016.
91- Cristiano overtook Hugo Sanchez as La Liga’s most prolific penalty-kick scorer against Villarreal on February 27, 2017.
92- Cristiano became the first player ever to score a perfect hat-trick in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final.
93- Cristiano lifted his 4th Champions League trophy when Real Madrid won the Duo-Decima against Juventus.
94- Cristiano Ronaldo won his 5th Ballon d’Or at the end of 2017, which equals Lionel Messi’s record for winning the most number of Ballon d’Or trophies.
95- He also won his second consecutive Best FIFA Men’s Player award for his achievements in 2017.
96- Cristiano claims that he does not drink alcohol after his father died of alcoholism in September 2005.
97- Ronaldo was in a relationship with Russian model, Irina Shayk from 2010-2015.
98- Ronaldo became father to a son in June 2010. The identity of the mother is hidden, while Ronaldo retains full-custody of the child.
99- Cristiano Ronaldo announced that he was father to twins in June 2017, although the identity of the mother is hidden.
100- Cristiano is currently in a relationship with Georgina Rodriguez, who recently gave birth to his daughter.
101- Cristiano donated the golden shoe that he had won in 2011 for €1.5 million and gave the money to fund schools for children in Gaza.
102- The Airport of Madeira is named after Cristiano Ronaldo for his contributions to the Portuguese National team.
103- Ronaldo owns his own fashion brand by the name of “CR7” which sells premium shirts, boots, as well as fragrances.
Cristiano is a living legend who is still playing top level football. While he continues to break more records, we’ll keep adding more Cristiano Ronaldo facts to this list as they happen.