He first began kicking a football when he was two or three, and when he started
primary school at age six, his passion for the sport was obvious. His favourite
boyhood team was Liverpool F.C. even though he would later join rivals
Manchester United . When there wasn't an actual football around, he would make
one out of socks.
Cristiano Ronaldo first played for an amateur team, Andorinha, where his father was the kit man, when he was just eight years old. By 1995 Cristiano Ronaldo's reputation was growing in Portugal. Madeira's top two teams, CS Marítimo and CD Nacional were both interested in signing him. Maritimo, the bigger team, missed a crucial meeting with Rui Santos manager of Andorinha, and as a result Ronaldo signed for Nacional. After a title-winning campaign at Nacional, Ronaldo went on a three day trial with Sporting Lisbon who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.
Ronaldo joined Sporting's other youth players who trained at the Alcochete, the club's "football factory," where he received first-class instruction. Sporting realised that Ronaldo needed more support and arranged for his mother to join him. He made his debut for Sporting Lisbon against Moreirense and scored 2 goals. He also featured for Portugal in the UEFA Under 17 Championships.
Cristiano Ronaldo performances at the UEFA Under 17 championship drew him to the attention of the wider football world. He was first spotted by former Liverpool F.C. manager Gerard Houllier at the age of 16. However, Liverpool later declined him because he was too young and needed some time to develop into a top footballer. However he came to the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting Lisbon beat Manchester United 3–1 in the inauguration of the Alvalade XXI stadium in Lisbon. Ronaldo scored two crucial goals and demonstrated his ability to play on both wings. After the match, United's players spoke enthusiastically of the young talent that they had just played against, saying they would rather have him in their team than play against him in the future.
Ferguson decided that he wanted the youngster for his team, who were in the market for a right-sided midfielder with the departure of David Beckham to Real Madrid; Ronaldo was signed for a fee of £12.24 million. He made his debut for Manchester United as a 60th minute substitute against Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford.
Since his move to the famous English club, Cristiano Ronaldo has earned equal amounts of praise for his style of play and dribbling skills. He has played primarily as a winger for United and can play on either wing.
However for all his skill and pace, Cristiano Ronaldo has proved inconsistent and critics question whether he is a capable successor to David Beckham and the famous number 7 shirt once worn by Old Trafford legends Eric Cantona, George Best and Bryan Robson. Ronaldo supposedly did not want the pressure of living up to expectations with this number, and so initially asked for the number 28 which he wore at Sporting. Preferring a free role where he can show his wide variety of skills such as step-overs he has often been accused of being selfish. A row between him and Ruud van Nistelrooy at the Carrington training ground has indeed intensified speculation about their roles at the club. Ferguson has however put his faith with Ronaldo, who signed a new deal with United that will last through 2010. Ronaldo is also quoted in the Manchester Evening News as saying "United have stood by me and been there for me and I want to repay that."
Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in a game versus Manchester City and a one-match ban was imposed by UEFA for a "one-fingered gesture" towards Benfica fans in Lisbon last December. He was given a yellow card in a friendly with the Portugal National team against Luxembourg after he pushed left-back Jeff Strasser in the throat in retaliation, after Strasser tackled him. Ronaldo has been warned by Portugal's coach, Felipe Scolari, to keep his temper in check during the World Cup.
On the 29 October 2005 Cristiano Ronaldo scored Manchester United's 1000th Premiership goal, in a 4–1 loss at the hands of Middlesbrough. He bagged a double double in February, with two goals at home to Fulham and another pair at Fratton Park, and also scored in the following Premiership game against Wigan taking his tally to 8 Premiership goals. On 26 February 2006, Ronaldo played in the Carling Cup Final against Wigan in the Millennium Stadium at Cardiff, and scored a goal - taking his season's tally to 10 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year 2005, the only award to be voted for by fans. He also ranked 20th in the FIFA Player of the Year 2005 standings.
On 8 July 2006, after the sending off of United team-mate Wayne Rooney, and the speculative campaign about him and the Portuguese squad started in the English media, Ronaldo told reporters that he thinks he "should get out of Manchester as the circumstances are not right to keep playing there."
"I have told my agent I am prepared to leave. I want to do it in the best manner possible. I want to play for Real Madrid and dream of doing so," Ronaldo told the Spanish sports daily Marca.
On 9 July, he also said for SIC, a Portuguese television channel, he can't understand all verbal violence and pejorative speculation about him. Cristiano declared he didn't behave wrongly when defeated the English squad and so can't be blamed for defending his home country colours. He added that he can't live and work in a place where people do not like him, so he will be glad to move out of England.
Several news sources consider that Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Manchester United is imminent, however, Manchester United still hopes to retain the footballer. Sir Alex Ferguson has sent assistant boss Carlos Queiroz to Portugal hoping to change the young player's mind, and teammate Wayne Rooney has pleaded Ronaldo not to leave the team and let their differences rest. Ronaldo still has three years left on his contract and is currently expected by manager Sir Alex Ferguson to report for pre-season training.
Ronaldo made his international debut in August 2003, against Kazakhstan. He scored Portugal's only goal in their 2–1 loss to Greece in the opening match of Euro 2004 and the first goal of the semi final against the Netherlands, which Portugal won 2–1. The final saw a rematch of the opening game of the tournament, and again, Greece emerged victorious.
Cristiano Ronaldo represented Portugal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and was the second highest scorer in FIFA World Cup qualification in the European zone with 7 goals. As of 17 June 2005, he has scored 11 goals in 25 appearances for his country.
Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal against Iran with a penalty kick.
In the Round of 16, he left Portugal's 1-0 win over Netherlands injured after a high tackle by Khalid Boulahrouz.
Ronaldo recovered in time to play in the quarter-final of the competition against England on 1 July 2006, scoring the final penalty shoot-out that sealed the Portuguese victory. However, Ronaldo was widely critcised for his gamesmanship by the English Press. England's Wayne Rooney stamped on Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho after a struggle for the ball. Ronaldo, Rooney's Manchester United team-mate, then sprinted over to appeal to the referee. Rooney pushed Ronaldo before receiving a red card. Former England striker and TV pundit Alan Shearer suggested Rooney might "stick one on Ronaldo" when the two meet again.
Sven-Göran Eriksson told reporters that the referee Horacio Elizondo explained after the match that the red card was for the initial challenge on Carvalho. Elizondo confirmed the initial story told by Eriksson to the The Times, saying "It was violent play and therefore he got a red card. People can say what they want (about Ronaldo) but this had absolutely no influence. For me it was a clear red card, so I didn't react to the Portuguese players." Portuguese keeper Ricardo backed Ronaldo, saying: "There always has to be a scapegoat when someone loses.", "I don't think (Ronaldo) influenced the referee. The referee was right on top of it."
Ronaldo said, "I complained to the referee about the foul but I didn't ask for a red card". After the match he admitted reports that Real Madrid are interested in him are correct, and he is now much more likely to go to the Spanish club or elsewhere over the summer transfer period.
After England's elimination Ronaldo was attacked by the English tabloids. The Sun made a dart board with a picture of his wink, in a similar fashion to the one made after the 1998 World Cup for David Beckham by The Daily Mirror, another English tabloid.
Cristiano Ronaldo has said that Rooney was a friend, and that he was not trying to get Rooney a red card. Rooney said, "I bear no ill feeling to Cristiano but am disappointed that he chose to get involved."
Wayne Rooney was investigated by FIFA's disciplinary committee after being sent off during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat against Portugal, banned for two competitive matches and fined 5 000 Swiss francs (2 207 pounds).
On July 5, in the semi-final against France, which Portugal lost 1-0, Ronaldo was loudly booed each time he had possession of the ball, by French and English fans alike. Though generally considered Portugal's best player during the match, several reports accused Ronaldo (and other members of his side) of trying to influence the referee by diving. There have been similar accusations in the past, and Ronaldo has been booked for the offence more than once in the English Premiership. At the end of the match, Ronaldo could be seen crying. Shortly after he dropped back to second place in the online voting for Best Young Player, it was reported by BBC Sport that this was partly because of an email campaign by an England supporter urging people to vote for Luis Valencia, who was the second place player to prevent Ronaldo from winning the award. Though the online vote only affected the nomination process, FIFA Technical Study Group awarded the honours to Germany's Lukas Podolski, citing Ronaldo's behaviour as a factor. The Portuguese team won the Most Entertaining Team award for their play during the 2006 World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo's father, Dinis Aveiro died on September 7, 2005. Ronaldo played in a World Cup qualifier against Russia only hours after receiving the news. He was also granted compassionate leave by Sir Alex Ferguson and missed the Manchester derby against Manchester City on September 10. However, he declared himself available for Manchester United's next match in the UEFA Champions League, against Villarreal.
In October 2005, Ronaldo and another man were questioned by police for an alleged s--ual assault. Ronaldo denied the accusation and The Crown Prosecution Service stated there were insufficient evidence to press charges.
Various magazines have published photos of Ronaldo with Merche Romero, linking him with the Portuguese TV show host. As of July 6, 2006, she has stated she is single. In the past, Ronaldo has dated the model Jordana Jardel, sister of Brazilian footballer Mario Jardel, and the model Lauren Frain, footballer Alan Smith's ex.
Cristiano Ronaldo has also done charity work, including flying out Martunis, an 11-year-old Indonesian tsunami survivor and his father to attend one of their World Cup qualifiers in June 2005; covering all their expenses. Subsequently all the players contributed money to buy them a house in Indonesia.
After the two World Cup qualifiers, Cristiano Ronaldo flew to Indonesia to visit the areas affected by the tsunami and to raise funds. He met the Vice President of the Indonesian Republic Jusuf Kalla and the President of East Timor Xanana Gusmão, and raised £66,000 (about $120,000 USD) by auctioning off his personal sports gear in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This Cristiano Ronaldo Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010