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All About Portugal | March 7, 2021

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Cristiano Ronaldo, the football prodigy from Madeira

Cristiano Ronaldo
Clara Campos

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best football players ever considered by many as the best player of our times due to his unique technic and unstopable speed.

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, worldwide known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is considered by many (me included) as the best football player of our time thanks to his natural talent for the game revealed on an outstanding technic, an unrivalled speed and an impressive physical condition. Personally I specially admire him for his professionalism and his commitment with work as he goes on being the first to arrive and the last to leave practice in spite being a star idolized by thousands.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s early years

On February 5th 1985 Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Madeira within a poor family. In fact times weren’t easy for his parents Maria Dolores and José Dinis who tried to raise his four children with the salaries of a cook and a gardener.

Cristiano grew up playing football on the streets, skipping school whenever he could. At the age of 8 he started playing at a local team called Andorinha. Two years later he joined CD Nacional, one of the Madeira Island most popular teams where his talent was recognized by scouters from Sporting Clube de Portugal in 1996.

Sporting Lisbon years

At the age of 12 Cristiano Ronaldo came to the mainland to play for Sporting Clube de Portugal in pursuit of his dream of becoming a professional football player, leaving all his family and friends behind. Could you imagine how hard must have been for a young boy to face the unknown all by himself? I guess that the same determination and eagerness in succeed that he now shows every Sunday at football fields was already present and helped him to overcome all the difficulties. Those years also contributed to shape his character and taught him that nothing can be accomplished without hard work and perseverance.

His first professional game was in 2002 against Moreirense. The 16 years old Cristiano scored two goals a captured all the attention. Shortly after, he made his first appearance at the Champions against Inter Milan.

By the age of 17, during the UEFA Under17 Championship Cristiano became a world promise disputed by teams like Liverpool and Arsenal.

However, his faith was decided during the pre-season opening match of the Alvalade XXI stadium between Sporting and Manchester United in 2003. The Lisbon team won 3-1 and Cristiano’s talent and potential overwhelmed the English to such an extent that they urged Sir Alex Ferguson to bring him to Old Trafford. Therefore Cristiano Ronaldo became a Red Devil player during the 2003-2004 season, becoming the first Portuguese ever to play for Manchester United.

The Manchester United years

Cristiano Ronaldo first game as a Red Devil was against Bolton Wanderers. It took him only 30 minutes to conquer not just the fans but also the traditionally demanding British press with his remarkable ability. Nevertheless, the first two seasons’ reviews were not consensual. If by one hand his technique and speed was praised, on the other hand his lack of consistency throughout the season was criticized.

After the World Cup 2006 Cristiano had a rough time in England. In fact, English fans had him responsible for Rooney being sent-off and thus for England’s elimination; therefore they whistled and insulted him every time Manchester played out of Old Trafford. Some were certain that he would not take the stress and leave the Red Devils. However, his strong character revealed himself once more and, with the support from Ferguson, he stayed to shine like a true star in one of his best seasons ever. To all who tried to diminishing him, he just answered: “Every whistle or insult that I get is a motivation to practice and work even better.”

In 2007, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Best Player of the Premier Ligue award as well as Best Young Player award. This was a deed that no player has ever achieved before. Besides, he was considered Player of the Year by the press. For the first time he entered the top 3 nominees for FIFA Best Player and Best European Player of the year.

In 2008, CR7 won the  Champions League with the United and the European Golden Shoe, becoming the first winger to do so; in addition, he topped the Premier League Golden Boot award. Impressively, Cristiano won three of the four main PFA and FWA awards, only missing the PFA Young Player of the Year, and was named th FIFPro, World Soccer, Onze d’Or and the FiFA World Player of the Year. Besides, he was Manchester United’s first Ballon d’Or winner in 40 years.

In 2009 Cristiano hit the headlines due to his transfer to Real Madrid. It was the most expensive transfer ever made in football, reaching the impressive amount of 80 million pounds or about 94 million euros.

 Cristiano and the Real Madrid

Cristiano was received in Santiago Bernabéu by over 80 000 supporters in an unforgettable official presentation. And the fans were not disappointed as CR7 confirmed his ability to score and in spite of an injury he scored 33 goals during the 2009-2010 season.

Next season, Ronaldo was at his best, having beaten several records; the figures speak for themselves: CR7 scored 54 goals, which granted him the Golden Boot Award.

Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese national team

Cristiano Ronaldo in tearsCristiano Ronaldo played for the main Portuguese national team for the first time in August 2003, during a match against Kazakhstan and EURO 2004 was his first major competition. The Portuguese team reaches the final but it was defeated by Greece. Photos of CR7 in tears at the end of the game were seen all over the world and represented the feeling of an entire nation that watched its team losing a final at home.

His contribution for the Portuguese presence in the World Cup 2006 as well as in the EURO 2008 was crucial. Cristiano Ronaldo became the captain of the Portuguese team during the World Cup 2010, where the national team was eliminated by Spain, the future world champion.

Cristiano Ronaldo Gallery

Cristiano Ronaldo tested to the limits

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