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Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo, 2012.JPG
Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid in 2012
Personal information
Full name Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth (1985-02-05) 5 February 1985
Place of birth Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current club Real Madrid
Number 7
Youth career
1993–1995 Andorinha
1995–1997 Nacional
1997–2002 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Sporting CP 25 (3)
2003–2009 Manchester United 196 (84)
2009– Real Madrid 135 (146)
National team
2001–2002 Portugal U17 9 (6)
2002–2003 Portugal U20 5 (3)
2003 Portugal U21 6 (1)
2004 Portugal U23 3 (1)
2003– Portugal 104 (39)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:58, 8 May 2013 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:33, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH, (born 5 February 1985), commonly known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and who serves as captain of the Portuguese national team. He became the most expensive footballer in history after moving from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer worth £80 million (€93.9 million/$131.6 million). In addition, his contract with Real Madrid, in which he is paid €12 million per year, makes him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world, and his buyout clause is valued at €1 billion as per his contract.

Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, before moving to C.D. Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal. Ronaldo caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed him for £12.24 million (€15 million) in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup.

Ronaldo was the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. In 2008, Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or. He placed second in the Ballon d'Or in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was awarded the European Golden Shoe in both 2008 and 2011. In 2008, he won three of the four main PFA and FWA trophies and was named the FIFPro Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, Onze d'Or, and the FIFA World Player of the Year. In 2007 and 2008, Ronaldo was named FWA Footballer of the Year. Ronaldo was the inaugural winner of the FIFA Puskás Award in 2009.

Ronaldo is considered one of the best footballers in the world and as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He holds numerous former and current scoring records, including records for most goals scored in a season for Real Madrid, most goals scored per minute in La Liga, first top European league player to reach 40 goals in a single season in two consecutive years, fastest Real Madrid player to reach one hundred league goals, and the first player ever to score against every team in a single season in La Liga. In January 2013, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal.

Ronaldo is a Portuguese international and made his debut against Kazakhstan in August 2003. He has since participated in five major tournaments; UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. He scored his first international goal in the opening game of the Euro 2004 against Greece, in addition to helping Portugal reach the final. He took over the captaincy of the side in July 2008 and went on to captain Portugal to the semi-finals at the Euro 2012 and finished the competition as the joint best scorer with three goals. On 16 October 2012, Ronaldo won his 100th cap against Northern Ireland, making him the third highest capped player for Portugal and became the third youngest European to reach a century of international appearances.

Early life

Ronaldo was born in Santo António, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener. His second given name "Ronaldo" was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favourite actor. He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia. His great-grandmother Isabel da Piedade was from Cape Verde.

Club career

Early career

At the age of eight, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man. In 1995, Ronaldo signed with local club Nacional, and, after a title-winning campaign, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.

Sporting Clube de Portugal

Ronaldo joined Sporting's other youth players who trained at the Academia Sporting, the club's football academy, in Alcochete. He became the only player ever to play for Sporting's under-16, under-17, under-18, B-team, and the first team, all within one season. He scored two goals in his league debut on 7 October 2002, which Sporting CP won 3–0 against Moreirense, while featuring for Portugal in the 2002 European Under-17 Championship.

At the age of 15 Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that might have forced him to give up playing football. The Sporting staff were made aware of the condition and Ronaldo's mother gave her authorisation for him to go into hospital. While there, he had an operation in which a laser was used to cauterise the area of his heart that was causing the problem. The surgery took place in the morning and Ronaldo was discharged from hospital by the end of the afternoon; he resumed training only a few days later.

In November 2002, Ronaldo was invited to Arsenal's training ground, London Colney to meet manager Arsène Wenger and his coaching staff. Wenger, who was interested in signing the midfielder had arranged to meet Ronaldo's representatives, Formation (who suggested the player originally to Gérard Houllier, then Liverpool's manager) in the subsequent months to discuss a transfer arrangement. However he came to the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting defeated United 3–1 in the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Ronaldo's performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him. Ronaldo was offered to Barcelona for less than the €15 million Manchester United paid, but the Catalan club could not afford him at the time as the club had already spent its budget on other players.

On April 2013, Ronaldo was honoured by Sporting as the club announced that the player had become their 100,000th member.

Manchester United


Ronaldo playing against Chelsea in April 2006.

Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for €15 million (£12.24 million) after the 2002–03 season. He requested the number 28 (his number at Sporting), as he did not want the pressure of living up to the expectation linked to the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by players such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham. "After I joined, the manager asked me what number I'd like. I said 28. But Ferguson said 'No, you're going to have No. 7,' and the famous shirt was an extra source of motivation. I was forced to live up to such an honour."

Ronaldo made his team debut as a 60th-minute substitute in a 4–0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers. He scored his first goal for Manchester United with a free kick in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November 2003. Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United's 3–0 FA Cup final victory over Millwall.

He scored United's 1000th Premier League goal on 29 October 2005 in a 4–1 loss to Middlesbrough. He scored ten goals in all competitions, and fans voted him to his first FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award in 2005.

He was sent off in the Manchester derby at the City of Manchester Stadium on 14 January 2006 (a game which United lost 3–1) for kicking City's former United player Andrew Cole.

Ronaldo won his second trophy in English football in the 2005–06 season, scoring the third goal in Manchester United's 4–0 Football League Cup final victory over Wigan Athletic.


Ronaldo with United during their 2006–2007 season.

The 2006–2007 season proved to be the breakout year for Ronaldo, as he broke the 20 goal barrier for the first time and picked up his first league title with Manchester United.

In November and December 2006, Ronaldo received consecutive Barclays Player of the Month honours, becoming only the third player in Premier League history to do so after Dennis Bergkamp in 1997 and Robbie Fowler in 1996. He scored his 50th Manchester United goal against city rivals Manchester City on 5 May 2007 as United claimed their first Premier League title in four years, and he was voted into his second consecutive FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award at the end of the year.

Despite rumours circulating in March 2007 that Real Madrid were willing to pay an unprecedented €80 million (£54 million) for Ronaldo, he signed a five-year, £120,000-a-week (£31 million total) extension with United on 13 April, making him the highest-paid player in team history.

Ronaldo amassed a host of personal awards for the season. He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards, joining Andy Gray (in 1977) as the only players to receive this honour. In April, he completed the treble by winning the PFA Fans' Player of the Year. He also won the PFA Fans' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year, becoming the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA awards. Ronaldo was also one of eight Manchester United players named in the 2006–07 PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

Ronaldo (left) and Carlos Tévez prior to a Champions League match.

Ronaldo's 2007–08 season began with a red card for a headbutt on Portsmouth player Richard Hughes during United's second match of the season, for which he was punished with a three-match ban. Ronaldo said he had "learned a lot" from the experience and would not let players "provoke" him in the future. After scoring the only goal in a Champions League away match against Sporting, Ronaldo also scored the injury-time winner in the return fixture as Manchester United topped their Champions League group.

He finished as the runner-up to Kaká for the 2007 Ballon d'Or, and was third in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, behind Kaká and Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo scored his first hat trick for Manchester United in a 6–0 win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on 12 January 2008, bringing Manchester United up to the top of the Premier League table. He scored his twenty-third league goal of the season in a 2–0 win against Reading, equalling his entire total for the 2006–07 season. During a 1–1 Champions League first knockout round draw against Lyon on 20 February, an unidentified Lyon supporter continuously aimed a green laser at Ronaldo and United teammate Nani, prompting an investigation by UEFA. One month later, Lyon were fined CHF5,000 (£2,427) for the incident.

On 19 March 2008, Ronaldo captained United for the first time in his career in a home win over Bolton, scoring both goals in the 2–0 victory. The second of the goals was his 33rd of the campaign, which set a new club single-season scoring record by a midfielder and thus topped George Best's forty-year-old total of 32 goals in the 1967–68 season. Ronaldo scored another brace in a 4–0 win over Aston Villa on 29 March, which at the time gave him 35 goals in 37 domestic and European matches as both a starter and substitute. Ronaldo's scoring streak was rewarded with his becoming the first winger to win the 2007–08 European Golden Shoe, finishing eight points ahead of Mallorca's Dani Güiza.

"Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United."

Three-time Ballon d'Or winner Johan Cruyff in an interview on April 2008.

In the 2007–08 Champions League final on 21 May against league rivals Chelsea, Ronaldo scored the opening goal after 26 minutes, which was negated by a Chelsea equaliser in the 45th minute as the match ended 1–1 after extra time. His misfire in the penalty shoot-out put Chelsea in position to win the trophy, but John Terry shot wide right after slipping on the pitch surface, and Manchester United emerged victorious 6–5 on penalties. Ronaldo was named the UEFA Fans' Man of the Match, and wrapped up the campaign with a career-high 42 goals in all competitions, falling four short of Denis Law's team-record mark of 46 in the 1963–64 season. In the Champions League he was also named best forward and player of the tournament and was the competition's top goalscorer.

Ronaldo and Manchester United against Albert Riera and rivals Liverpool.

On 5 June 2008, Sky Sports reported that Ronaldo had expressed an interest in moving to Real Madrid if they offered him the same amount of money the team had allegedly promised him earlier in the year. Manchester United filed a tampering complaint with FIFA on 9 June over Madrid's alleged pursuit of Ronaldo, but FIFA declined to take any action. Speculation that a transfer would happen continued until 6 August, when Ronaldo confirmed that he would stay at United for at least another year.

Ronaldo underwent ankle surgery at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam on 7 July. He returned to action on 17 September in United's goalless UEFA Champions League group stage draw with Villarreal as a substitute for Park Ji-Sung, and scored his first goal of the season in a 3–1 League Cup third round win over Middlesbrough on 24 September.

In a 5–0 win over Stoke City on 15 November 2008, Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st goals in all competitions for Manchester United, both from free kicks. The goals also meant that Ronaldo had now scored against each of the other 19 teams in the Premier League at the time. On 2 December, Ronaldo became Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or recipient since George Best in 1968. He finished with 446 points, 165 ahead of runner-up Lionel Messi. He was awarded the Silver Ball after finishing with two goals as United won the Club World Cup on 19 December.

On 8 January 2009, Ronaldo was uninjured in a single-car accident in which he wrote off his Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano in a tunnel along the A538 near Manchester Airport. A breathalyser test he gave to police officers at the scene was negative, and he attended training later that morning. Four days later, he became the first Premier League player ever to be named the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to being the first Portuguese player to win the award since Luís Figo in 2001.

Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal of the season, and first since the final against Chelsea, in a 2–0 victory over Internazionale that sent United into the quarter-finals. In the second leg against Porto, Ronaldo scored a 40-yard game-winning goal as United advanced to the semi-finals. For this goal Ronaldo holds the distinction of being the first player to win the FIFA Puskás Award, in 2009, an honour handed by FIFA to the best goal of the year. He later called it the best goal he had ever scored. Ronaldo participated in his second consecutive Champions League final, but made little impact in United's 2–0 loss to Barcelona. He finished with 53 appearances in all competitions, which was four higher than the previous year, but scored sixteen fewer goals (26) than his career-best total of 42 from the previous season.

On 11 June, Manchester United accepted an unconditional offer of £80 million from Real Madrid for Ronaldo after it was revealed that he again had expressed his desire to leave the club. It was confirmed by a representative of the Glazer family that the sale was fully condoned by Ferguson. When Ronaldo had eventually completed his transfer to Real, he expressed his gratitude towards Ferguson for helping him develop as a player, saying, "He's been my father in sport, one of the most important factors and most influential in my career."

Real Madrid

2009–10 season

Ronaldo and Real Madrid against Diego Forlán and city rivals Atlético Madrid.

"I have nothing but praise for the boy. He is easily the best player in the world. He is better than Kaká and better than Messi. He is streets ahead of them all. His contribution as a goal threat is unbelievable. His stats are incredible. Strikes at goal, attempts on goal, raids into the penalty box, headers. It is all there. Absolutely astounding."

Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo's manager at Manchester United in July 2009.

On 26 June 2009, Real Madrid confirmed that Ronaldo would join the club on 1 July 2009 from Manchester United for £80 million (€93.9 million) becoming the most expensive footballer in history, after agreeing terms and signing a six-year contract. Ronaldo's contract is worth €11 million per year and it has a €1 billion buy-out clause. He was presented to the world media as a Real Madrid player on 6 July, where he was handed the number 9 jersey. The shirt was presented to him by Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano. Ronaldo was welcomed by between 80,000 and 85,000 fans at his presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, surpassing Diego Maradona's record of 75,000 fans when he was presented in Italy, after he was transferred from Barcelona to Napoli in 1984. The event was broadcasted live on the Spanish and Portuguese public TV stations, RTVE and RTP respectively.

Ronaldo taking a free kick for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park.

Ronaldo made his Madrid debut on 21 July in a 1–0 win over Shamrock Rovers. His first goal came one week later with a penalty in Madrid's 4–2 win over LDU Quito. On 29 August, Ronaldo capped his La Liga debut with a goal, scoring Real's second from the penalty spot in a 3–2 home win against Deportivo La Coruña. On 15 September, Ronaldo scored two free-kicks in a 5–2 away victory over Zürich, his first Champions League goals for Real. He broke a Madrid club record when he scored in a league match against Villarreal and thus became the first ever player to score in his first four La Liga appearances.

An ankle injury suffered on 10 October, while Ronaldo was on international duty with Portugal against Hungary, kept him out until 25 November, which in turn caused him to miss both of Madrid's Champions League group stage matches against Milan. Ronaldo made his first post-injury start in a 1–0 El Clásico defeat to Barcelona on 29 November. On 6 December, he was sent off for the first time in his Madrid career in Madrid's 4–2 victory against Almería, a match which also saw him miss a penalty. He was carded first for removing his shirt during a goal celebration, then for kicking out at an opponent three minutes later. He was second in the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year award and also second in the 2009 Ballon d'Or award. On 5 May 2010 Ronaldo scored his first Real Madrid hat-trick in an away game against Mallorca. Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuaín scored 53 league goals during the course of the season and became Real's highest scoring league duo in their history. Ronaldo ended his first season at Real Madrid by ending at second place in the 2009–10 La Liga with 96 points, reaching Round of 16 in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League, and the Round of 32 in the 2009–10 Copa del Rey.

2010–11: Copa del Rey winner

With the departure of Raúl during the summer of 2010, Ronaldo was handed the number 7 jersey for Real Madrid. On 23 October 2010, Ronaldo scored four goals against Racing de Santander, the most goals he has ever scored in a single match. This completed a goalscoring run of six consecutive matches (three in La Liga, one in the Champions League, and two for Portugal) in which Ronaldo scored in each match, totalling 11 goals, which is the most Ronaldo has scored in a single month. Before Real Madrid's 5–0 defeat by Barcelona at the Camp Nou, Ronaldo scored his second La Liga hat-trick of the season in a 5–1 win over Athletic Bilbao. His final match of the calendar year saw him score a hat-trick in a 8–0 trashing of Levante in the Copa del Rey.

Ronaldo during a friendly game against Peñarol before the beginning of the season.

Ronaldo began the 2011 with a very promising outlook, especially after Real Madrid acknowledged he had broken numerous goalscoring records, previously settled and held by classic players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano, Hugo Sánchez, and Manuel Alday. Ronaldo began his scoring spree by scoring two vital goals in a tight 3–2 victory away to Getafe. He then consolidated his massive performances by scoring a hat-trick and assisting Kaká to score his first league goal after his return from injury, in a 4–2 victory over Villarreal on 9 January. One game away from the middle of the season, Ronaldo had a very clear chance of breaking Telmo Zarra's and Hugo Sánchez's record of 38 League goals in a single season, since he was the league's top scorer with 22 goals, above Lionel Messi. However, shortly after, Ronaldo experienced the biggest goal drought in his entire career, scoring only 2 goals in more than a month. During this period, Real Madrid acknowledged to have hit the crossbar more than 12 times in the season, most of the shots belonging to Ronaldo and almost all having happened during crucial moments in drawn matches. Ronaldo then made a massive comeback by scoring a hat-trick in a 7–0 trashing of Málaga on 3 March 2011, but was affected by a muscle injury at the end of the match, which forced him to spend 10 days on the sidelines.

Ronaldo and Real Madrid against Gareth Bale and Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League.

In April he made another massive comeback from injury, sustaining a three-game scoring streak (including 2 goals in Champions League quarter-finals against Tottenham Hotspur), thus arriving to the first of a historical series of four El Clásico encounters two goals short of breaking his personal record of 42 goals in all competitions in a single season, achieved at Manchester United in the 2007–08 season.

During the second league edition of El Clásico, Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot and took his tally to 41 goals, also taking his scoring streak to four games. On 20 April, Ronaldo scored the winning goal against Barcelona in the 103rd minute of the Copa del Rey final. This goal would later be chosen as both Ronaldo's and Real Madrid's best goal in the season by several fan polls, including those of Marca and Real Madrid's website. 7 May saw Real travel to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán to take on Sevilla, where Ronaldo led the thrashing of a woeful Andalusian side, scoring four goals in a 6–2 victory. These four goals took him to 46 for the season which surpassed his previous record of 42 in a season playing for Manchester United. Three days later he reached 49 goals for the season, by scoring another hat-trick in a 4–0 home win against Getafe. On 15 May, after scoring two free-kick goals in a 3–1 win over Villarreal, he equalled the La Liga record with most goals in a season with 38, a record previously held by Telmo Zarra and Hugo Sánchez.

On 21 May, he scored two goals in the last league match of the season against Almería, taking his Pichichi total to 41, and La Liga total to 40, becoming the only player to score 40 goals in a La Liga season. By doing this, he won the European Golden Shoe award once again, becoming the first player to win the trophy in two different leagues. The sports newspaper Marca, who awards the Pichichi Trophy, included the goal scored on 18 September 2010 against Real Sociedad in Ronaldo's goal count, which had been officially attributed to Pepe. Should this goal be granted to Ronaldo, his goal count in the Pichichi Trophy would tally 41 goals. Ronaldo also broke Zarra's record of most goals per minute, with a goal scored every 70.7 minutes. However, regardless of this goal polemic, Ronaldo's record-breaking figures became a source of major attention from public media, such as being included in the Sports Illustrated World XI, rating him as one of the world's best footballers. Accounting for all competitions, Ronaldo ended the season with a total of 53 goals (not granting him the controversial goal from Pepe), having scored 25 goals with his right foot (excluding free-kicks and penalty-kicks) and 9 with his left foot. Ronaldo ended his second season at Real Madrid by winning the 2011–12 Copa del Rey, reaching the semi-finals in the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League, and second place in the 2010–11 La Liga with 92 points.

2011–12: La Liga champion

"Cristiano Ronaldo is fantastic. I will not compare him with [Lionel] Messi, we're talking about two great players. I will say this year Cristiano Ronaldo has been better."

José Mourinho, Ronaldo's manager at Real Madrid in May 2012.

Real Madrid's pre-season began with a 4–1 victory over MLS team Los Angeles Galaxy, with goals from Callejón, Joselu, Ronaldo, and Benzema. Four days later Ronaldo scored a second half hat-trick in a 3–0 win against Guadalajara. Ronaldo's preseason performance was highly praised as world media kept hailing Ronaldo's extreme competitiveness and motivation, even during friendly matches. On 17 August 2011, Ronaldo scored his 100th goal with Real Madrid with a first-half equaliser against Barcelona in the second leg of the 2011 Spanish Supercup in the Camp Nou. On 27 August 2011, he opened the 2011–12 La Liga season with a hat-trick in a 6–0 win at Real Zaragoza.

In the first weeks of September, Ronaldo's physical performance was subject to scrutiny by world media, after Castrol released a television film named Ronaldo: Tested to the Limit where he was put to test in several fields, including mental and physical. Conclusions from the movie and doctors in the weeks following claimed that Ronaldo was one of the best athletes in the world, excelling in football and outstanding in almost every other category. Several sources drew comparisons between him and other top athletes, including sprinter Usain Bolt. On 24 September, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick (including two penalties) in Real Madrid's 6–2 win over Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabéu. This was his ninth La Liga hat-trick and tenth hat-trick for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo's boots on display at Santiago Bernabeu after the 2011–2012 season
Ronaldo playing against Ajax during their group stage match in the UEFA Champions League.

On 27 September, Ronaldo scored Real's opening goal in a 3–0 victory over Ajax at the Santiago Bernabéu in the UEFA Champions League. On 22 October, after not scoring in his previous three games, Ronaldo scored his tenth La Liga hat-trick and eleventh in total for Real Madrid in a match away to Málaga, which Real Madrid won 4–0. His twelfth Real Madrid hat-trick followed on 6 November, in a 7–1 victory over Osasuna that ensured Madrid stayed top of the table heading into the international break. On 19 November 2011, Ronaldo scored Real's second goal in a 2–3 defeat of Valencia. On 26 November 2011, Ronaldo scored two penalties in a 4–1 defeat of Atlético Madrid in the El Derbi madrileño. On 3 December 2011, Ronaldo scored Madrid's second goal in a 0–3 defeat of Sporting de Gijón in La Liga. He was one of the three finalists for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or. On 13 December 2011, Ronaldo scored the second goal against SD Ponferradina in the first leg of the Copa del Rey Round 4, the match ended in a 0–2 win. On 17 December 2011, Ronaldo scored his twelfth La Liga hat-trick and thirteenth overall in a 6–2 win away to Sevilla.

Ronaldo was third in the 2010–11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, behind Lionel Messi and Xavi, and second in the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or, behind Lionel Messi and ahead of Xavi. In Real Madrid's next game in La Liga at home to Granada Ronaldo scored the fifth goal in a 5–1 win. He was notably criticised in the public media for not celebrating the goal. On 22 January 2012, Ronaldo scored two penalties in a 4–1 win over Athletic Bilbao, and on 28 January scored Real Madrid's second and winning goal in a 3–1 win against Zaragoza. Ronaldo also scored two goals against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey Quarter-finals, which Real lost 4–3 on aggregrate. On 12 February 2012, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, his thirteenth in La Liga and fourteenth for Real Madrid, in a 4–2 home win over Levante. This win stretched Real Madrid's lead over second-placed Barcelona to 10 points.

On 24 March 2012, Ronaldo reached more than 100 goals in La Liga in just three season at Real Madrid when he scored the first of his two goals in the match against Real Sociedad, the second quickest La Liga player to reach that milestone in the league after Isidro Lángara, reaching the milestone in 92 matches and breaking the previous club record held by Puskás. As of 24 March 2012, Ronaldo had averaged 1.01 goals per game in La Liga.

On 11 April, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in a 1–4 win, as well as assisting the last goal. His hat-trick, one goal from a free kick, one from 30 yards on the left wing and one penalty, gave him 40 league goals in the season, making him the only player in La Liga history, or in any other major European league, to score 40 goals in two seasons, even doing so in consecutive seasons. Ronaldo officially broke his previous record of 40 goals in a La Liga season on 14 April, scoring in a 3–1 win against Sporting Gijón. On 25 April, in the second leg of the semi-finals in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich, Ronaldo converted a penalty from a David Alaba handball and scored a second goal from a pass from Mesut Ozil. Extra time ended with the tie level at 3–3, and Real Madrid was eliminated in the shootout with Ronaldo's kick being saved by Manuel Neuer.

On 13 May 2012, the last matchday, Ronaldo scored against Mallorca which made him the first player ever to score against every team in a single season in La Liga. He finished the season with a total of 46 league goals and 60 goals in every competition, breaking the Real Madrid record he had set the previous season. Ronaldo ended his third season at Real Madrid by winning the 2011–12 La Liga with record 100 points, finishing as runner-up in the 2011 Supercopa de España, reaching the semi-finals in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League, and the quarter-finals in the 2011–12 Copa del Rey. Ronaldo claimed that he believed that he had played better than Lionel Messi the 2011-12 season, and on 13 June, he won the Trofeo Alfredo Di Stefano as the best La Liga player of the season.

2012–13 season

"I don't want to cry about it, but sometimes I think yes. Maybe sometimes, I agree that I have a bad image on the pitch because I'm too serious. If you really know me, if you are my friend and I leave you inside my house and you share the day with me, you will know I hate to lose. I'm a competitive man and sometimes people interpret that in a different way, which is a pain on me because I don't like it, but I have to live."

Ronaldo, when asked whether his image had cost him in the past

Ronaldo started the season by lifting the Supercopa de España with Real Madrid, scoring two goals in a 4–4 away goals aggregate win against Barcelona. The goal in the first leg made him the first Madrid player in the history of El Clásico to score for the fourth game in a row at the Camp Nou, with the winning goal in the second leg, Ronaldo equalled the Real Madrid record of Iván Zamorano of scoring in five consecutive El Clásico matches. AS reported Manchester City president Sheikh Mansour had made a £200 million bid for Ronaldo in the summer. However, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez turned it down, who pointed to Ronaldo's contract clause of £1000 million. On 30 August, Ronaldo was second (tied with Lionel Messi) in the 2011–12 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award with 17 votes, behind winner Iniesta.

On 2 September 2012, Ronaldo scored his first league goal of the season in a 3–0 win over Granada, which was also his 200th career goal in league matches played in England, Spain and Portugal. He added another goal, which was his 150th goal for Real Madrid in all competitions in 149 matches played. This goal made him the 10th highest scorer for Real Madrid in all competitions. Ronaldo was substituted at the 63rd minute by team mate Higuaín, due to a minor thigh injury. Afterwards, Ronaldo claimed that he was unhappy with a "professional issue" after he refused to celebrate his 149th and 150th goals for the club. Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, insisted that he always knew that Ronaldo was unhappy with life at Real Madrid. Ronaldo dismissed the notion that his post-match declaration of "sadness" was related to a desire for a new and improved contract at the club. Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, claimed that he did not want to leave the club and that he was unhappy for other reasons. When Ronaldo returned to Real Madrid, after international duty, he stated he was focused on achieving further success with the club. Real Madrid coach José Mourinho believed that UEFA's decision to elect Iniesta as the best player in Europe in 2011–12 could have been one of the reasons behind Ronaldo's unhappiness.

"If Messi is the best on the planet, Ronaldo is the best in the universe. If you are going to give out the Ballon d'Or because a player is the best, give it to Cristiano or Messi. But I ask: if the two are on the same level, is it normal that one wins four and the other one? It is not."

José Mourinho, when asked about the 2012 Ballon d'Or

On 18 September, Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal of the season in a 3–2 victory over Manchester City. On 30 September, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick (including two penalties), his first La Liga hat-trick of the season, in a 5–1 win over Deportivo de La Coruña. On 4 October, Ronaldo scored his first career hat-trick in Champions League as he led Real Madrid to a 4–1 victory over Ajax. Continuing his fine form, he hit a brace the following week against Barcelona in a 2–2 draw at Camp Nou, which made him the first and only player to score in 6 consecutive El Clásico's. He followed this up with another goal in the following weekends against Borussia Dortmund in a 2–1 away loss and a brace in the 5–0 away win against Mallorca. On 11 November, Ronaldo started as a striker in a 2–1 away win over Levante, as both Benzema and Higuaín were injured. He received an horrific elbow to the eye in the second minute in the match, but scored his twelfth La Liga goal to give Madrid the lead, before being substituted at half-time. This eventually led to him missing the Portugal squad for the friendly game against Gabon. On 21 November, he appeared in Madrid's 1–1 Champions League group stage draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The match represented the first time that Ronaldo played in Manchester since leaving City's rival, Manchester United, for Madrid in 2009. On 1 December, after not scoring in his previous three games, Ronaldo scored a goal from a free-kick and assisted Özil to score the second goal, in a 2–0 victory over Atlético Madrid. Ronaldo continued to score his sixth Champions League goal in a 4–1 home win against Ajax on 4 December, once against Celta Vigo in the first leg of a Copa del Rey game on 12 December, and once again in a 2–2 draw with Espanyol on 16 December.

In December 2012, French giants Paris Saint-Germain declared interest in signing Ronaldo, however, Real Madrid announced the club will not sell Ronaldo and the club was working on an improved contract with a three-year extension, keeping him at the club until 2018. In the same month, it was reported Ronaldo would reject the contract Madrid are preparing for him at the end of the season. Ronaldo himself refused to discuss his long-term future at Real Madrid until he has helped the Spanish champions atone for their disappointing start to the season. In April 2013, Florentino Pérez said Ronaldo's contract will be renewed, and José Mourinho stated "when you have a player of his caliber, you must do everything within your power to hold on to him." Thereafter, Ronaldo again reluctant to discuss his long-term future at Real Madrid. In May 2013, Perez said he had no intention of selling Ronaldo, who would be offered a new deal to ensure he stays with Madrid.

"Florentino Perez had all the Galacticos at Real Madrid when he was president first time around. He had Figo, Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Raul in that spell. But I don't think any of those players were as good as Ronaldo. He's a fantastic player. I knew he would improve tremendously, he was still young when he left us."

Alex Ferguson, ahead of the UEFA Champions League last 16 between Madrid and United

On 6 January, in Madrid's first match of 2013, Ronaldo scored a brace to lift 10-man Real Madrid to a 4–3 victory over Real Sociedad. The match represented the first time that Ronaldo captained Real Madrid in an official match, but received his fifth yellow card of the season and was suspended for the team's next league game at Osasuna serving a one-game ban. This was the first time Ronaldo was suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards, having only previously missed games when being given a straight red card. On 7 January, he was second in the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or, for the fourth time behind Lionel Messi. On 9 January, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Celta Vigo in the second leg of a Copa del Rey game. On 14 January, Ronaldo insisted he want to complete his contract at Real Madrid – but admitted he does not know what the future holds for him beyond that. Following a first leg victory over Valencia in the Copa del Rey on 15 January, he got into an argument with manager José Mourinho. On 27 January, Ronaldo scored a perfect hat-trick against Getafe in a 4–0 win, including his 300th club goal. On 30 January, against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, Ronaldo made his 500th club appearances. He was the first not Spanish to captain Real Madrid in a Clásico in the last 60 years. On 2 February, Ronaldo scored the first own goal of his career to send Real Madrid to a shock 1–0 defeat at Granada. Ronaldo than scored another hat-trick the next week against Sevilla, his 21st hat-trick of his career and his 17th in La Liga. Ronaldo faced his former club Manchester United for the first time on 13 February in the Champions League Round of 16 and scored the equaliser in a 1–1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu. On 26 February, Ronaldo scored twice against Barcelona in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals, making this the sixth consecutive trip to the Camp Nou in which he had scored. Ronaldo then scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory against Manchester United on 5 March, which was his return to Old Trafford for the first time since his world-record £80 million move to Real Madrid in 2009. Thereafter, Ronaldo stated he was "sad" and had a "strange feeling" after his goal knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League. On 10 March, Ronaldo struck twice against Celta Vigo to send Real Madrid above city rivals Atlético into second place in La Liga. The second goal, his 138 goal in La Liga, earned him a place in the top 25 goalscorers in the history of La Liga in just 127 games, recording an average of 1.08 goals per game, the highest of all the top 25 goalscorers. On 16 March, Ronaldo scored the equaliser in a 5–2 victory against Mallorca, which was his 350 goal in his career. On 3 April, Ronaldo scored the opening goal against Galatasaray in the first leg of the quarter-finals, which took Ronaldo ahead of Filippo Inzaghi to sixth in the Champions League goalscoring charts. On 9 April, Ronaldo scored twice against Galatasaray to send Real Madrid to the semi-finals in the Champions League. With these goals, Ronaldo went ahead of Andriy Shevchenko to fifth in the Champions League goalscoring charts. In April 2013, he was named by Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history".

Ronaldo picked up an injury to his leg thigh muscle while warming up for the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on 24 April, where he scored an away goal in a 4–1 loss against Borussia Dortmund. He was absent from Real Madrid's next game against Atlético Madrid, but returned to action on 30 April for the 2–0 second leg victory against Dortmund (a 4–3 aggregate loss). On 4 May, Ronaldo scored two headers against Real Valladolid in a 4–3 home win. The English media reported that Manchester United chief executive David Gill was in Madrid to talk with Ronaldo's agent about Old Trafford return, but other media outlets reported that United would struggle to re-sign him after the announcement of Alex Ferguson's retirement as manager of Manchester United. He scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid on 8 May in a 6–2 win against Málaga. This figure made him sixth in the list of the club's all-time top scorers and the player that took fewest matches (197) to reach 200 goals. On 17 May, Ronaldo scored the opening goal against Atletico Madrid in the 2–1 Copa del Rey final loss, which was also his 111 goal (201 overall) in his 100th home appearance. He was shown a straight red card in the 114th minute of extra time of the final for an altercation with Gabi. He was charged for the accumulation of yellow cards and violent conduct by the RFEF, banned for the two games in the last 16 of the 2013–14 Copa del Rey.

Accounting for all competitions, Ronaldo ended the season with a total of 53 goals, having scored 29 goals with his right foot (excluding free-kicks and penalty-kicks), 16 with his left foot and 8 with his head. Ronaldo ended his fourth season at Real Madrid by reaching the final of the 2012–13 Copa del Rey, semi-finals in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League for the third consecutive year, and second place in the 2012–13 La Liga with 85 points.

2013-14 season

With the departure of coach José Mourinho to West London club Chelsea, Real's failure to win major silverware last season and reports of division in the dressing room had prompted speculation that Ronaldo, whose contract runs until June 2015, might be seeking a move away from the Spanish capital. On 8 June 2013, Ronaldo moved to quell the speculation over his future by insisting that he would reach a deal to renew his contract with Real Madrid in the summer. On 13 June 2013, Ronaldo flatly denied that any agreement had been struck in a brief message to his 58 million Facebook and 18.9 million Twitter followers. On 3 July 2013, while at a Singapore Olympic Foundation event in Singapore, Ronaldo admited that he was missing the English Premier League, but ruled out an imminent move back to Old Trafford.

International career

Ronaldo playing against Brazil in February 2007.

Ronaldo earned his first cap for Portugal in a 1–0 victory against Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003.

Euro 2004

Ronaldo was called up for Euro 2004, scoring his first international goal in a 2–1 group stage loss to eventual champions Greece and scoring again in a 2–1 semi-final win over the Netherlands. He was featured in the UEFA Euro All-Star Team of this competition, despite finishing with only two goals. He also represented Portugal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

2006 World Cup

Ronaldo was the second-highest scorer in FIFA World Cup qualification in the European zone with seven goals, and scored his first World Cup goal against Iran with a penalty kick.

During a quarter-final match against England on 1 July 2006, Ronaldo's United teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho. The English media speculated that Ronaldo had influenced referee Horacio Elizondo's decision by aggressively complaining, after which he was seen in replays winking at the Portuguese bench following Rooney's dismissal. After the match, Ronaldo insisted that Rooney was a friend and that he was not pushing for Rooney to be sent off. On 4 July, Elizondo clarified that the red card was due to Rooney's infraction and not the fracas between Rooney and Ronaldo that followed.

The angry reaction from the English press caused Ronaldo to consider leaving United, and he allegedly told Spanish sports daily Marca that he wished to move to Real Madrid. In response to the speculation, Ferguson sent Portuguese assistant manager Carlos Queiroz to speak to Ronaldo in attempt to change his mind, a sentiment that was shared by Rooney. Ronaldo stayed, and signed his new five-year extension in April 2007.

Ronaldo was booed during Portugal's semi-final defeat to France, and missed out on the competition's Best Young Player award due to a negative e-mail campaign from England fans. Though the online vote only affected the nomination process, FIFA's Technical Study Group awarded the honour to Germany's Lukas Podolski, citing Ronaldo's behaviour as a factor in the decision.

Post-World Cup

One day after his 22nd birthday, Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first time in a friendly against Brazil on 6 February 2007. This move was in honour of Portuguese Football Federation president Carlos Silva, who had died two days earlier. Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari explained, "Mr. Silva asked me to make [Ronaldo] captain as a gesture... [he] is too young to be captain, but Mr. Silva asked me, and now he is no longer with us."

Ronaldo was made full-time captain of Portugal in 2008.

Euro 2008

Ronaldo scored eight goals in Portugal's UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, behind Poland's Ebi Smolarek, but finished with only one goal in the tournament as Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals with a 2–3 loss against Germany. When Carlos Queiroz was named Portugal's new coach in July 2008, he appointed Ronaldo as team captain.

Ronaldo was named Man of the Match against the Czech Republic in Group A of the European championships.

2010 World Cup

On 15 June 2010, in Portugal's opening World Cup match against Côte d'Ivoire, Ronaldo was tackled by right-back Guy Demel, which led to an argument and both being booked. The next day, Portugal contacted FIFA to suggest that Ronaldo's yellow card be rescinded since he was "pulled into" the confrontation after having already moved away from the spot where he was tackled, but the appeal was rejected.

Ronaldo was named Man of the Match in all three of Portugal's Group G matches at the World Cup. His only goal of the tournament came in Portugal's 7–0 group stage thrashing of North Korea on 21 June, which marked his first international goal in 16 months. Portugal were ultimately eliminated by Spain in the Round of 16.

Euro 2012

Ronaldo scored seven goals in Portugal's UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, including two strikes against Bosnia in the play-offs for the tournament, and finished behind Germany's Miroslav Klose and the Netherlands' Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (not including the play-offs round). Portugal were drawn in Group B with Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, which was widely referred to as the " group of death" of the tournament. In an interview with Kicker Magazine, Ronaldo stated that "I will only be fully content with my career when I have lifted a trophy with Portugal."

Ronaldo playing against Germany at Euro 2012.

After the opening 0–1 defeat against Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo was criticised for under performing, showing frustration at his and his team-mates' errors and for walking off into the changing-rooms straight after the match, rather than thanking the crowd with the team. His team-mate Nani later defended him stating that he had left the pitch since he needed to instantly be treated for a possible injury. He also stated that he had been training well and contributing to the team, and that he was under excessive of pressure since football is a team sport, but that he would soon silence his critics. Luis Figo however criticised his behaviour stating that it is the captain's responsibility to always defend the group, despite the result.

During the match between Denmark and Portugal, the Denmark fans chanted Lionel Messi's name whenever Ronaldo was on the ball. Ronaldo squandered two gilt-edged one-on-one chances, and Ronaldo looked frustrated and tormented throughout. Asked about the Messi chants, Ronaldo responded irritatedly: "You know where he was at this time last year? Do you know? He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country. I think that's worse, no? And people say that he is the best player in the world. This sort of thing is normal for great players."

"In the form he is in, given the chance, he will score. Cristiano wants to bring his team to the final and show why he should be considered the best player in the world."

Diego Maradona, on Ronaldo's opportunity to take Portugal to the final

In the final group match between Portugal and the Netherlands, Ronaldo scored two goals to secure a 2–1 victory for Portugal, allowing them to advance to the quarterfinals. He also struck the post twice in the match and was named Man of the Match.

Cristiano Ronaldo was praised for his performance against the Czech Republic in the Quarterfinals. After he had twice hit the post, he finally darted in from behind his marker in the 79th minute and headed a cross from Joao Moutinho, sending Portugal into the semifinals with a 1–0 victory over the Czech Republic. After scoring the winning goal, he ran to the camera and was initially accused of chanting "Messi" mockingly, although upon further review, it was found that this was incorrect and that he had in fact simply stated "para ti" as he had dedicated the goal to his son.

Ronaldo had several chances for Portugal in the semifinals against Spain, but he sent three shots over the bar. Ronaldo had his best chance in the 90th minute but shot the ball high and wide. The match ended with penalties, but Ronaldo did not take a penalty in the shootout. He had been slated to take the fifth one, but it never got that far. The Portugal coach, Paulo Bento, knocked back criticism of Cristiano Ronaldo not being employed earlier in the shootout. "Well we had this plan and if it would have been 4–4 and he would have taken the last penalty we would talk in a different way," Bento said.

Before and throughout the tournament, Ronaldo was particularly hailed by Diego Maradona who even declared Ronaldo as "the best player on the planet" and that "[Ronaldo] has shown his countrymen that he does deserve a monument in Lisbon." Ronaldo was included in the UEFA Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament, the second time after 2004, and finished the competition as the joint best scorer with three goals, along with five other players, although Spain's Fernando Torres claimed the Golden Boot.

Style of play and praise

Ronaldo, playing for Portugal in 2012, has been compared to Lionel Messi, as well as Ronaldinho and Kaká.

Many experts have testified to Cristiano Ronaldo's skills and impact as the best modern-day footballer (alongside Lionel Messi). Ronaldo plays a free attacking role, known for his finishing, pace, dribbling, balance, positioning, vision and passing ability. He's able to switch from either a left to a right side position as well as a centre, making him a very versatile player.

Ronaldo is known to be mentally sharp, predicting certain plays, and also possesses very good reactions. While right footed, he's able to control the ball just as well with his left foot. He rarely needs to move regardless of distance and/or direction when shooting passes. His accuracy is known to be very sharp as he's been shown to have successful long passes on equals with his short passes. Ronaldo is able to dribble fantastically with his head held up high. He also carries the strong trait of speed and reactions with ball controlling whether moving with the ball or passing it for certain plays. This has also allowed Ronaldo a balance of goal scoring as well, despite committing to an out and out playmaker role. He is also an accurate set piece and penalty kick specialist; having scored goals with free kicks as well. Uniquely, his header technique has given him an edge winning generally all aerial battles for the balls, with the majority of his goals tend to be headers.

Ronaldo is renowned for his incredible work ethic. Manchester United's power development trainer, Mike Clegg, stated "From the day he walked through the door at Carrington to the day he left, Cristiano Ronaldo was the greatest trainer I ever worked with." French legend Zinedine Zidane has also praised his contribution, stating "He's a truly remarkable professional football player, who works like no other athlete". Ronaldo said: "I didn't have any particular idols as a child. My ambition was to play for my national team because that's where the footballers I mostly followed played. I'm sure I used to do stuff I no longer do due to age or experience." He cited his Brazilian namesake, Ronaldo, as one of his footballing heroes. Ronaldo once stated his desire to carve his name in history alongside footballing legends such as Pelé and Diego Maradona, and that he would rather be remembered as a role model than one of world football's best players.

"Some people do not like him because he is a great player, good-looking and has sex with all the ladies. People get jealous. The only bad thing about Ronaldo's life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would be the best player in the world for five years in a row. He is a great person and a friend. He likes to fool around, but he is a great professional."

Former Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari

"Choosing the best player in the world is relative because it depends on what you do collectively. (Lionel) Messi and Cristiano are the best players but I'd say Cristiano Ronaldo is the most complete player in modern football. He scores with both his feet, from headers and from free-kicks."

Kaká, Ronaldo's teammate at Real Madrid in November 2011.

However, Ronaldo has been criticised for his performance in the national team, on which Maradona has commented: "As good as he is with Real Madrid, he often seems frustrated on the national level, as if he was surrounded by players who do little to assist him." Ronaldo also has been criticised for his diving when tackled. For which José Mourinho has told: "Cristiano is a player who does not have the culture of the swimming pool, he has no culture of simulation, he is a British-trained player, Ferguson trained. In some cases, the simulators are given more protection, and those who are honest are often the losers. I'm not a hypocrite if I say that they (defenders) hit Cristiano very hard, and that the yellow cards do not arrive or are slow in coming." However, Mourinho criticised that Ronaldo does not take criticism well.

"I think Cristiano Ronaldo is a good person and a good player, who brings a lot to Real Madrid. He certainly can decide the fate of a game in any given moment."

Lionel Messi speaking to Time Magazine in February 2012.

Ronaldo's increasing reputation led the media to draw comparisons between him and FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, which Ronaldo has commented on saying: "Some people say I'm better, other people say it's him, but at the end of the day, they're going to decide who is the best player. Sometimes it makes me tired. For him too because they compare us together all the time. You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because it's a different engine. You cannot compare them. He does the best things for Barcelona, I do the best things for Madrid. I think we push each other sometimes in the competition, this is why the competition is so high." However, former great players have criticized the comparison, such as Brazilian legend Pelé and Portuguese international Luis Figo, who cited that they have different playing styles. Though the comparison has been criticized, many former and current football players have cited Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's finest players. Former Brazilian star Roberto Carlos suggested that "...Ronaldo can do much more for Madrid than Messi can for Barcelona. Madrid really depend on Ronaldo to perform well, while Barcelona are so much more than Messi." Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba even labelled the duo as "monsters" for revolutionizing the statistics. Also Ronaldo's former Real Madrid manager, José Mourinho, once stated: "If both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were born in different eras, they would have ruled the football scene and collected 10 FIFA Ballon d'Ors each."

"Maturity brings many things. When I went to see them play against City, some of his decision-making in terms of passing was brilliant. One-touch passing, good crosses. In the six years we had him, you just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player. Now you see the complete player. His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player."
Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo's manager at Manchester United, in 2013

Outside football

Personal life

Ronaldo during his spell at Real Madrid.

Ronaldo's father, José Dinis Aveiro, died of an alcoholism-related liver condition in September 2005 at age 52 when Ronaldo was 20. Ronaldo's mother and Manchester United coach have stated that he does not drink alcohol as a result and he has received libel damages over a Daily Mirror article that reported him drinking heavily in a nightclub while recovering from an injury in July 2008. In October 2005, a month after his father died, Ronaldo was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in a London hotel and released on bail. Ronaldo denied the allegations and charges were dropped by Scotland Yard in November 2005 due to "insufficient evidence". Ronaldo issued a statement saying: "I have always strongly maintained my innocence of any wrong-doing and I am glad that this matter is at an end so that I can concentrate on playing for Manchester United."

Ronaldo announced that he had become a father on 3 July 2010. His official Facebook and Twitter pages reference the birth of his son and request privacy. The child, named Cristiano is in full custody of Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has previously dated English models Alice Goodwin and Gemma Atkinson, and since the start of 2010, he has been dating Russian model Irina Shayk. He is a practising Roman Catholic.


Television footage of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami showed an eight-year-old boy wearing a No. 7 Portuguese football jersey who was stranded for 19 days after his family was killed. Following this, Ronaldo visited Aceh, Indonesia, to raise funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction. After accepting undisclosed damages from a libel case against The Sun newspaper in 2008, Ronaldo donated the damages to a charity in Madeira. In 2009, Ronaldo donated £100,000 to the hospital that saved his mother's life in Madeira following her battle with cancer, so that they could build a cancer centre in his native island Madeira. In support of the victims of the 2010 Madeira flood, Ronaldo pledged to play in a charity match in Madeira between the Primeira Liga club FC Porto and players from Madeiran based clubs Marítimo and Nacional.

In November 2011, Ronaldo donated a pair of his football boots to be auctioned by Real Madrid's 'Clasico' network. They were sold for £2050 with the proceeds going to fund schools in Gaza, Palestine. In May 2012, Ronaldo and his agent, Jorge Mendes, decided to fund a pioneering treatment for a nine-year-old boy when it seemed that there was no hope left for the child, who has been battling cancer since before his second birthday. In November 2012, Ronaldo sold the golden boot he had won in 2011 for €1.5 million and gave the money to fund schools for children in Gaza. In January 2013, Ronaldo became Save the Children's new Global Artist Ambassador, in which he hopes to help fight child hunger and obesity. In March 2013, Ronaldo agreed to be the ambassador for The Mangrove Care Forum in Indonesia. The forum aims to raise awareness to the Indonesian and international community of the importance of conserving biodiversity and ecosystem of mangroves in the South Bay of Benoa, Bali.


In March 2010, France Football ranked Ronaldo third in its list of the world's highest paid footballers, behind David Beckham and Lionel Messi, with £27 million (€29.2 million) in combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings. His net wealth is estimated at $160 million.


Ronaldo has signed many sponsorships as his reputation rapidly grew from his time at Manchester United. In October 2009, Ronaldo was named the new spokesmodel for Emporio Armani men's underwear and jeans. In February 2010, he re-upped his endorsement contract with American sportswear company Nike until 2014. He has also signed other sponsorships from Coca-Cola, Castrol, Konami, Banco Espirito Santo, Motorola, Jacob & Co., Herbalife and KFC. All of his sponsorships have earned him a total of an estimated $21 million per year as of June 2013. In June 2012, SportsPro rated Ronaldo as the 5th most marketable athlete in the world, but he slipped to the eighth position in 2013.

Career statistics


As of 17 May 2013
Club Season League1 Cup League Cup Europe Other2 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sporting CP 2002–03 25 3 3 2 3 0 0 0 31 5
Total 25 3 3 2 3 0 0 0 31 5
Manchester United 2003–04 29 4 5 2 1 0 5 0 0 0 40 6
2004–05 33 5 7 4 2 0 8 0 0 0 50 9
2005–06 33 9 2 0 4 2 8 1 47 12
2006–07 34 17 7 3 1 0 11 3 53 23
2007–08 34 31 3 3 0 0 11 8 1 0 49 42
2008–09 33 18 2 1 4 2 12 4 2 1 53 26
Total 196 84 26 13 12 4 55 16 3 1 292 118
Real Madrid 2009–10 29 26 0 0 6 7 35 33
2010–11 34 40 8 7 12 6 54 53
2011–12 38 46 5 3 10 10 2 1 55 60
2012–13 34 34 7 7 12 12 2 2 55 55
Total 135 146 20 17 40 35 4 3 199 201
Career total 356 233 49 32 12 4 98 51 7 4 522 324

1 2010–11 season notice: Does not include one goal scored on 18 September 2010 against Real Sociedad. Marca, which awards the Pichichi Trophy, attribute it to Ronaldo while La Liga and UEFA attribute it to Pepe.

2Includes other competitive competitions, including the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Supercopa de España.


Ronaldo playing against Argentina in Geneva, Switzerland on 9 February 2011.
As of 10 June 2013.
National team Year Apps Goals
Portugal 2003 2 0
2004 16 7
2005 10 2
2006 14 6
2007 10 5
2008 8 1
2009 7 1
2010 11 3
2011 9 7
2012 13 5
2013 4 2
Total 104 39

International goals

Scores and results list Portugal's goal tally first.


Ronaldo with Lionel Messi before an international friendly between Portugal and Argentina in Geneva, Switzerland on 9 February 2011.


Manchester United
  • Premier League (3): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
  • FA Cup (1): 2003–04
  • Football League Cup (2): 2005–06, 2008–09
  • FA Community Shield (1): 2007
  • UEFA Champions League (1): 2007–08
  • FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008
Real Madrid
  • La Liga (1): 2011–12
  • Copa del Rey (1): 2010–11
  • Supercopa de España (1): 2012


Fourth place (1): 2006
  • UEFA European Championship:
Runner-up (1): 2004
Bronze (1): 2012


  • UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament (2): 2004, 2012
  • Bravo Award (1): 2004
  • FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year (2): 2004, 2005
  • PFA Young Player of the Year (1): 2006–07
  • Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year (3): 2003–04, 2006–07, 2007–08
  • PFA Players' Player of the Year (2): 2006–07, 2007–08
  • PFA Fans' Player of the Year (2): 2006–07, 2007–08
  • FWA Footballer of the Year (2): 2006–07, 2007–08
  • Barclays Player of the Year (2): 2006–07, 2007–08
  • Premier League Player of the Month (4): November 2006, December 2006, January 2008, March 2008
  • Premier League Golden Boot (1): 2007–08
  • Barclays Merit Award (1): 2007–08
  • UEFA Champions League Topscorer (2): 2007–08, 2012–13
  • UEFA Club Forward of the Year (1): 2007–08
  • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (1): 2007–08
  • FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball (1): 2008
  • UEFA Euro 2008 Man of the Match (1): Czech Republic vs Portugal
  • Ballon d'Or (1): 2008
  • Ballon d'Or Silver award (2): 2007, 2009
  • FIFA Ballon d'Or Silver award (2): 2011, 2012
  • FIFA World Player of the Year (1): 2008
  • FIFPro World Player of the Year (1): 2008
  • Onze d'Or (1): 2008
  • World Soccer Player of the Year (1): 2008
  • PFA Premier League Team of the Year (4): 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
  • FIFA Puskás Award (1): 2009
  • European Golden Shoe (2): 2007–08, 2010–11
  • CNID Best Portuguese Athlete Abroad (4): 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
  • UEFA Team of the Year (7): 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • FIFA FIFPro World XI (6): 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Player of the Year (2): 2008, 2012
  • FIFA World Cup 2010 Man of the Match (3): Côte d'Ivoire vs Portugal, Portugal vs Korea DPR, Portugal vs Brazil
  • Portuguese Footballer of the Year (8) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • La Liga top scorer (1): 2010–11
  • Copa del Rey top goalscorer (1): 2010–11
  • Trofeo Alfredo Di Stéfano (1): 2011–12
  • ESM Team of the Year (4): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2011–12
  • UEFA Euro 2012 Man of the Match (2): Portugal vs Netherlands, Czech Republic vs Portugal
  • UEFA Euro Top Scorer (1): 2012
  • Ibero-American Community Trophy (1): 2011


  • PRT Order of Prince Henry - Officer BAR.png Officer of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique
  • PRT Ordem de Nossa Senhora da Conceicao de Vila Vicosa Cavaleiro ribbon.svg Medal of Merit, Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa ( House of Bragança)


As of 23 December 2012


  • The most expensive footballer in history


  • The only player to have won the European Golden Shoe in two different leagues (English Premier League and Spanish La Liga)
  • First top European league player to reach 40 goals in a single season in two consecutive years
  • Most consecutive UEFA Champions League matches scored in: 6 matches (shared with Burak Yılmaz)


  • Highest strike rate recording in winning the Premier League Golden Boot (31 goals over 34 games)


  • The first player ever to score against every team in a single season in La Liga
  • The first player ever to score in six consecutive Clásicos


  • Portugal all-time third most capped player with 100 appearances
  • Portugal all-time third top scorer with 37 goals
  • Portugal all-time top scorer in UEFA Euro matches (6 goals, held jointly with Nuno Gomes)
  • Portugal all-time fourth top scorer in FIFA World Cup matches (2 goals, held jointly with Maniche and Simão Sabrosa)

Real Madrid

  • Most goals scored in a season in all competitions for Real Madrid: 60 goals
  • Most goals scored in a single La Liga season for Real Madrid: 46 goals
  • Most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season for Real Madrid: 12 goals
  • Most hat-tricks in a single season for Real Madrid: 7 hat-tricks
  • Fastest Real Madrid player to reach one hundred league goals
  • The only player, amongst Real Madrid’s top league goal scorers, who averages more than a goal per match (1.09)
  • Real Madrid all-time top sixth scorer in all competitions with 201 goals
  • Real Madrid all-time top sixth scorer in La Liga with 146 goals
  • Real Madrid all-time top eight scorer in Copa del Rey with 17 goals
  • Real Madrid all-time top fourth scorer in Champions League with 35 goals
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