Cristiano Ronaldo’s story has been well-documented enough over the years and rightly so. The Juventus forward is an inspiration to anyone who dreams of overcoming adversity and achieving greatness.
With a net worth in the region of £361 million, the Portuguese has enjoyed huge success off the pitch in addition to the five Ballons d’Or and 29 major honours he’s won as one of the greatest players of all time.
It’s earned him an army of fans across the world who, understandably, must feel they know the 35-year-old inside out by now.
Ronaldo’s every move makes headlines, whether he’s winning titles with the Bianconeri or expanding his collection of luxury cars.
Even so, there are just a smattering of anecdotes about his life which have somehow gone under the radar.
Inspired by ‘Soccer Stories – Oh My Goal’ on YouTube and their video ’11 things you didn’t know about Cristiano Ronaldo, we’ve decided to round up the best of them.
11. Ronaldo owns an $18.5m apartment in Trump Tower. He bought it in 2015, say Business Insider, and it includes 2,509 square feet of eighteenth-century Versailles wood flooring. How the other half live.
10. According to Men’s Health magazine, the ball often reaches speeds of 80 mph (130 km/h ) after Ronaldo’s strikes – nearly as fast as his cars.
9. While he’s enjoyed an incredible career, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar was almost denied making it as a footballer at all. He underwent heart surgery at the age of 15 and his irregular heartbeat could otherwise have stopped him playing at the highest level.
8. Ronaldo could have signed for Juventus as early as 2002. He was thwarted by the Chilean striker Marcelo Salas, who refused to be part of a swap deal as he didn’t want to join Sporting Lisbon. Eventually, he made his way to Turin, but not until he left Madrid in 2018.
7. He could have taken a number of other paths, though – Liverpool tried to sign him as a youngster but the two parties couldn’t agree on wages. Lyon, on the other hand, rejected him altogether when Sporting offered him as part of a swap deal – the Ligue 1 club wanted hard cash, not an unproven teenager. Their loss, really.
6. As a child, Ronaldo shared a room with three of his siblings due to poverty. His father was an alcoholic. Now, it’s a very different story as he ensures mum Dolores enjoys her taste of the high life, recently gifting her a £100,000 Porsche, per The Sun.
5. According to the Portugal national team’s chef, there are a range of favourite foods that help to keep Ronaldo in peak condition: Bacalhau, risotto, Portuguese wine, fried polenta, and vegetable soup.
4. We’ve come to associate CR7 with – well, the number seven, inevitably – but that’s not the only number he’s used throughout his career. He’s also worn 17, 9 and 28.
3. Ronaldo is known for being obsessive about training, but he does have time for some hobbies. He loves poker and he’s so skilled that he’s competed against some of the world’s best players at PokerStars.
2. Journalist Guillem Balague recalls in ‘Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography’ how a young Ronnie reacted to being teased at Sporting’s academy. One day, when he was being punished and was forced to take the bins out, he responded to his teammates making fun of him by shouting: “One day I’ll be the best player in the world and I’ll have loads of Ferraris!”
1. And speaking of his remarkable car collection, it’s now worth around £6m (via the Daily Mail). It includes a £260,040 Lamborghini Aventador, a £600,000 Mercedes which his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez bought him for his 35th birthday, and two Bugattis each worth over £1m each. Not bad.
It’s a story that never ceases to amaze. Proper ‘rags-to-riches’ stuff.
And even as he enters the twilight of a phenomenal career, there’s still time for Ronaldo to achieve even more.