We all know Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the world’s best footballers (if not the best). His skills, strength, technique and physique allow him to accomplish amazing feats on the pitch, while his looks and charisma ensures he makes millions in endorsements off it.
The boy from Madeira has come a long way since he first shot to global fame as a noodle-hair teenager making his debut for Manchester United in 2003.
A short rundown of his accomplishments include being:
Beyond his on-pitch achievements and public persona, here are some things you may not know about the Real Madrid megastar.
1. He shares his birthday with Neymar, Carlos Tevez, Adnan Januzaj.
Want your son to be a world-famous footballer one day? Take note of the date February 5th.
Not only was Cristiano Ronaldo born on that fateful day in 1985, other talented footballers including Brazilian and Barcelona superstar Neymar (1992), Ronaldo’s ex-teammate Carlos Tevez (1984), and even Ronaldo’s current heir-apparent at Manchester United Adnan Januzaj (1995) were born on the same date!
Need more convincing, well, there’s also:
Stefan de Vrij (1992) – Dutch World Cup star
Rodrigo Palacio (1982) – Argentine and Inter Milan footballer
Manuel Fernandes (1986) – Ex-Benfica, Everton and Valencia and Portuguese international
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (1975) – former Dutch national team captain and ex-Arsenal and Barcelona.
Gheorghe Hagi (1965) – ex Real Madrid and Barcelona superstar, voted as one of the greatest players of all time.
2. He overcame a heart problem as a teenager.
CR7’s career could have ended prematurely at the age of just 15 when he was diagnosed with a racing heart – a condition that has already claimed the careers of some famous footballers.
"His heart raced a lot when he wasn't running,” his mother said. "The people in charge at Sporting Lisbon alerted me…and I had to sign some papers and authorise him being treated in hospital.”
The then teenager underwent laser surgery to cauterise the source of the problem and resumed training just days later.
3. He lifts the equivalent of 16 Toyota Prius cars in a day during weights training.
Remember the moment in the Champions League final when Cristiano Ronaldo lifted his shirt after scoring a goal? Well his bulging muscles and ripped torso took a lot of hard work.
According to the Daily Mail, the Portuguese phenom lifts an average of around 23,055kg of weights during a regular gym session – equivalent to the weight of 16 Toyota Prius cars!
Ronaldo also reportedly does 3,000 sit-ups a day – explaining those well-defined abs.
4. His freekicks have been measured to be faster than the speed of a rocket launch.
During a study, researchers found that Ronaldo can kick a ball at the speed of around 35 metres per second. That’s nearly five times faster than the launching speed of Apollo 11 rocket (7.3 metres per second)!
5. It takes just 6 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 5 seconds for Ronaldo to earn what Barack Obama earns in one year.
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the world’s highest paid footballer (in terms of wages, before tax), earning £274,000/$452,182 in a week. In comparison, U.S. president Barack Obama is paid a measly salary of just $400,000 a year.
How does he spend all his money? Well, for one, we know he is a huge car fanatic. In his collection include an Audi R8 Coupé, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, a Ferrari F430, a customized Bugatti Veyron, a Porsche Cayenne turbo, a Bentley Continental GT convertible, an Audi Q7, an Audi RS6, an Aston Martin DB9, a BMW M6 and a Ferrari F350 spider.
But he has also used his fortune for good purposes. He once donated £100,000 to a hospital back in his native island of Madeira to build a cancer centre. Additionally, he has given millions to causes such as building schools for children in Gaza, aid for the Tsunami relief fund, as well as support for the Mangrove Care Forum in Indonesia.
6. Despite his playboy reputation, he has been in a stable relationship for the last 4 years.
You would think with his good looks and impressive charm, Ronaldo would be one heck a ladies’ man. True, there have been rumours of numerous one-night stands early in his career, but Ronaldo has actually more or less settled down since.
His current relationship with Russian supermodel Irina Shayk has lasted for slightly more than four years. The duo reportedly met while shooting an Armani ad together.
7. He never wanted the Number 7 jersey at Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo may have trademarked an entire line of underwear and apparel under his now famous “CR7” moniker, but it could have all gone differently if he had not been given the Number 7 jersey at Manchester United.
When Ronaldo first moved to England, he originally turned down the Number 7 jersey, wanting instead to wear Number 28, the same as his last club. But then Manchester United manager challenged him to live up to the famed number and the rest is history.
Here’s your chance to win autographed jerseys by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Visit www.starhub.com/laliga to enter the contest now!
Who else donned the number 7 jersey well? Let us know by commenting below.
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