R is for Cristiano (R)onaldo the football genius from Portugal – #BlogchatterAtoZ #AtoZChallenge 2019
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia.org
For the letter ‘R,’ I had to choose between two renowned sportspersons, one from tennis and the other from football. These were (R)oger Federer the unbeatable champion from the tennis court who has broken many records and Cristiano (R)onaldo who is an equally gigantic personality from the sport of football. My friend Rashi Roy who is a co-participant in the this year’s A to Z challenge has been rooting strongly for Roger Federer.
But with all apologies to Rashi, I have chosen Cristiano Ronaldo for the ‘R’ post, even though, like Rashi, I too am a great fan of Federer. The reason for choosing Ronaldo over Federer is that my daughter who is now about to step into the 8th grade wanted me to write on Ronaldo and she also told me that a number of her classmates would love to read an article on Ronaldo. I really, do hope you don’t mind, Rashi. There was no way I could deny the kids.
Consequently, this post is dedicated to a number of people. First, it is dedicated to my darling daughter Subhashini Iyer and all her school mates from the Mar Thoma Public School who never fail to like my Instagram posts about the articles I write for the A to Z challenge 2019. It is also dedicated to Master Gunjit who is the son of one of my blogger friends Ruchi Nasa Chopra, who helped me last year in selecting a name for my first suspense thriller ‘Eighty Hours To Save Karen’ which I wrote as part of Blogchatter’s eBook carnival 2018. Last, but not the least, this post is also dedicated to Rashi Roy.
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in Sao Pedro, Funchal, on the island of Madeira, Portugal. He grew up in Santo Antonio, Funchal. He is the youngest of the four children of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro who was a cook and Jose Dinis Aveiro. Jose was a municipal gardener and a part-time kit man. The name “Ronaldo”, was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan. Ronaldo grew up in a very poor home and had to share a room with all his siblings.
When Ronaldo was just a kid, he played for the amateur team Andorinha from 1992 to 1995 where his father was the kit man. Later he spent two years with Nacional. At the age of 12, Ronaldo went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who signed him for £1,500. He then moved from Madeira to Alcochete, near Lisbon, and joined Sporting’s other youth players at the club’s football academy.
By the time he was 14, Ronaldo was convinced of his football skills and believed he had the ability to play semi-professionally. He agreed with his mother to stop his schooling in order to focus entirely on football. He had once been expelled after throwing a chair at a teacher, who he said had “disrespected” him. One year after this incident, he was diagnosed with a racing heart, which could have forced him to give up playing football.
Ronaldo underwent laser heart surgery to cauterise multiple cardiac pathways into one to alter his resting heart rate. He was discharged from the hospital after the procedure and resumed training just a few days later. Ronaldo stands at 6 foot 1 and was originally a right-winger and later played as a forward. His ability to make openings in opponents defences by using deft sleights of feet leave teams stunned. He is an aggressive and formidable opponent on the field.
He had a very successful season in Sporting CP and this brought him to the attention of football clubs all over Europe. In 2003, he signed up with Manchester United. He was a great success and he came to be regarded as one of the best forwards in the game. In the 2007-08 season, he scored 42 league and cup goals for Manchester United and earned the Golden Shoe award as Europe’s leading scorer. In May 2008 Ronaldo helped Manchester United to the Champions League title.
He was also awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year for his fantastic performance in the 2007-08 season. He led Manchester United to the Champions League 2019 final, but they lost to FC Barcelona eventually. Ronaldo was then sold to Spain’s Real Madrid for a record eighty million pounds transfer fee. Playing for Real Madrid he continued scoring and in the 2010-11 season. He scored the maximum number of 40 goals in 2010-11. This was the maximum in La Liga history till the time it was broken by Lionel Messi in the subsequent 2011-12 season.
In the 2011–12 season he helped his team Real Madrid in capturing a La Liga championship. In this league season, Ronaldo scored a personal-best of 46 goals. In the year 2013 Ronaldo earned his second player of the year award by scoring a total of 66 goals in 56 matches with Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team to earn his second world player of the year award.
In 2014 he scored 52 goals in 43 appearances and led Real Madrid to a Champions League title, which resulted in Ronaldo capturing another Player of the Year award which had by then been renamed Ballon d’Or award. In 2014–15 he scored 48 goals to lead La Liga in scoring. He scored the 324th goal of his career as a member of Real Madrid in October 2015 to become the club’s all-time leading goal scorer.
In 2015-16 he scored 35 La Liga goals helping Real Madrid win its record 11th Champions League title. Later, in December 2016 he won a fourth career Ballon d’Or for this accomplishments. Ronaldo continued to score prodigiously and in 2016-17 he scored 42 goals for Real Madrid across all competitions thereby leading his team to La Liga and Champions League titles. For this, he won a fifth career Ballon d’Or award.
He led Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League title in 2017–18 when he scored 44 goals in 44 games. He signed a four-year contract worth Euro 112 million in July 2018 with the Italian powerhouse Juventus. He ended his Real Madrid career with 311 goals in 292 matches.
As far as playing for Portugal is concerned, after moving through the youth and under-21 ranks steadily, Ronaldo made his first appearance for Portugal’s national team against Kazakhstan in August 2003. In the 2006 FIFA, World Cup Ronaldo played a key role in helping Portugal secure the fourth-place and he was appointed as the full-time captain of the Portuguese national team in 2008.
By dint of his stellar performance, Portugal reached the semifinals of the European Championship played in 2012. His team was eliminated by rival Spain in a match that was decided by a penalty kick shoot-out. In the 2014 World Cup Ronaldo’s game in the tournament was not too good, and the entire Portugal side struggled during a group-stage elimination. In the year 2016, he helped Portugal win the European Championship which was the country’s first major international tournament title, although Ronaldo played very few matches.
In the 2018 World Cup, Ronaldo’s game was terrific and he scored four goals in four games and Portugal advanced to the knockout round. But sadly Portugal lost its first match Uruguay. Ronaldo is rated as one of the fastest footballers both with the ball and without it. He has the capacity to play on both the right and left sides as well as the centre of the pitch. He has great strength and jumping ability and since he is very tall at 1.85 m he has an advantage in aerial challenges. He is noted for his flair in dribbling the ball.
Ronaldo is indeed a very colourful personality on the field and his methods of celebrating a goal are noteworthy. Usually, he celebrates by a high jump where he turns midway and lands in a spread-eagle fashion. In one particular celebration, he squatted and stared directly into a camera on the sidelines of the pitch with his hand on his chin. This gained widespread coverage in the media.
Ronaldo has often been compared to Messi quite often. Ronaldo and Messi are regarded as the two best players of their generation. There is a lot of argument among football lovers as to who is the better player among the two. Ronaldo endorses a number of products including sportswear, football boots, soft drinks, clothing, computer video games and so on. Since November 2012 Ronaldo plays wearing Nike Mercurial Vapor personalized CR7 shoes.
Ronaldo was featured on the cover of the EA Sport’ FIFA video game FIFA 18. He also appeared in the cover of Pro Evolution Soccer in 2008, 2012 and 2013. Forbes has twice ranked Ronaldo the first on its list of the world’s highest paid footballers. In the year 2013-14 his combined income was $73 million and in 2014-15 it was $79 million. Ronaldo lost his father Jose to an alcoholism-related liver condition in 2005.
He was just 20 then. Ronaldo does not drink and also received damages from Daily Mirror over an article reporting to have found him drinking heavily in a nightclub. His mother Dolores survived breast cancer. Ronaldo has four children. The first one is Cristiano Jr born on 17, June 2010 in the US. He did not reveal the identity of the mother as per her wishes. In January 2015 he stated that his five-year relationship with Russian model, Irina Shayk had ended.
He then had twins Eva (a girl) and Mateo (a boy) born on 8, June 2017 via surrogacy in the US. Currently, he is in a relationship with Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez with whom he has a daughter Alana Martina born 12, November 2017. Ronaldo has made several philanthropic contributions. He visited Aceh in Indonesia to raise funds for rehabilitation.
In support of the victims of the 2010 Madeira flood, Ronaldo pledged to play in a charity match in Madeira between Primeira Liga club Porto and players from Madeiran-based clubs Marítimo and Nacion. Ronaldo was charged with fraudulently evading taxes worth Euro 15 million in July 2017. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and fined Euro 18.8 million which was later reduced to Euro 16.8 million after a deal with Spanish authorities.
Ronaldo was investigated by the British Crown Prince Service after two women brought forward a 2005 rape allegation. After Scotland Yard announced there was not enough evidence to prosecute the two women withdrew the allegation. It was also alleged that Ronaldo had paid the woman money in a non-disclosure settlement.
Here is a list of Ronaldo’s Awards
- FIFA Ballon d’Or/Ballon d’Or: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
- FIFA World Player of the Year: 2008
- FIFPro World Player of the Year: 2008
- The Best FIFA Men’s Player: 2016, 2017
- UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2014, 2016, 2017
- UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2007–08
- UEFA Club Forward of the Year: 2007–08
- World Soccer Player of the Year: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
- FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year: 2003–04, 2004–05
- PFA Portuguese Player of the Year: 2016, 2017
- Onze d’Or: 2008, 2016–17
- Bravo Award: 2004
- European Golden Shoe: 2007–08, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2014–15
- FIFA Puskás Award: 2009
- FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
- UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2004, 2012, 2016
- UEFA European Championship Silver Boot: 2016
- UEFA Euro All Time XI
- UEFA Ultimate Team of the Year (published 2017)
- FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2018
- FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2016
- FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball: 2008, 2014
- PFA Young Player of the Year: 2006–07
- PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2006–07, 2007–08
- PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2006–07, 2007–08
- Premier League Player of the Season: 2006–07, 2007–08
- FWA Footballer of the Year: 2006–07, 2007–08
- PFA Premier League Team of the Year: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
- Premier League Golden Boot: 2007–08
- Premier League Player of the Month: November 2006, December 2006, January 2008, March 2008
- La Liga Best Player: 2013–14
- La Liga Best Forward: 2013–14
- La Liga Fans’ Five Star Player: 2014–15
- La Liga Most Valuable Player: 2012–13
- La Liga Best Goal: 2013–14
- La Liga Team of the Season: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
- UEFA La Liga Team of The Season: 2015–16, 2016–17
- La Liga Player of the Month: November 2013, May 2015, May 2017
- BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year: 2014
- IFFHS World’s Best Top Division Goal Scorer: 2014, 2015
- IFFHS World’s Best Top Goal Scorer: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
- IFFHS Men’s World Team: 2017, 2018
- Globe Soccer Awards Player of the Year: 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
Tags – #BlogchatterAtoZ 2019 #AtoZChallenge 2019