Activities Sports & Athletics Biography of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Soccer Player Share PINTEREST Email Print Paul Gilham/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Soccer Soccer Players Basics Playing & Coaching Soccer Culture Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Stewart Coggin Stewart Coggin has written about the sport of soccer since 2002. He is an expert, and his articles appear on many sports websites. our editorial process Stewart Coggin Updated February 14, 2019 Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (born February 5, 1985) is the quintessential footballer/soccer star. Possessing strength, pace, skill, and professionalism in abundance, Ronaldo’s many attributes leave him well-equipped for the modern game. In an age where players have never been fitter or stronger, Ronaldo ensures that his outrageous natural talent is complemented by a bulging physique that makes him a tough competitor and a threat to any defense. In 2009, his US$131 million move from Manchester United to Real Madrid made him the most expensive player in the world (since surpassed by Gareth Bale). And at the Bernabeu, he has thrilled the masses with high-caliber performances and an unreal number of goals. Fast Facts: Cristano Ronaldo Nationality: Portuguese Date and Place of Birth: February 5, 1985, in Funchal, Portugal Position: Winger/Striker Current Club: Real Madrid (La Liga) Previous Clubs: Sporting Lisbon (2001-2003), Manchester United (2003-2009) International Career: 2003 to present Early Career Sporting Lisbon signed a 10-year-old Ronaldo after a three-day trial and he ultimately became the first player to turn out for the club with the Under-16, Under-17, Under-18, B-team, and first team in a single season. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson swooped to sign him as an 18-year-old after a devastating performance in a friendly against his side in 2003. Rise to Prominence Ferguson eased Ronaldo in gently, but from his early cameo performances, it was obvious the Scot had signed a player of immense natural ability. Wearing the famous number seven shirt previously assigned to the likes of George Best and Eric Cantona, Ronaldo’s first season garnered 10 goals. By the end of the 2006-07 season, the Portuguese star had registered 23 goals in 53 appearances for United and played a major role in the club winning their first title for four seasons. The World's Best The following campaign was to prove his best in a Red Devils shirt. Ronaldo scored a stunning total of 42 goals in 49 games as United won the Premier League and Champions League. He dovetailed beautifully with Wayne Rooney, while Carlos Tevez helped make the team’s attack one of the most prolific in the world game that season. But rumors already started circulating about a move to Real Madrid. Manchester United stood firm that summer, retaining Ronaldo for one last season and at the turn of the year he won the FIFA World Player of the Year award for the first time. Twenty-six goals in all competition helped United to another Premier League title and an appearance in the Champions League final where the English club was beaten 2-0 by Barcelona. But it was no secret that Ronaldo was looking for pastures new and on June 26, 2009, Real Madrid confirmed that he would be joining them in a world record deal. The Latest Galáctico Florentino Perez was the man who brought Ronaldo to the Bernabeu as he begun a second spell as president. His Galácticos policy is world famous, and Ronaldo certainly fitted the mold, following in the footsteps of Luis Figo, David Beckham, and Zinedine Zidane. Ronaldo was presented to 80,000 fans at the Bernabeu, as club legend Alfredo Di Stefano handed him the famous number nine shirt. A devastating haul of 33 goals in 35 appearances—despite missing a month and a half through injury—rendered his first season in Spain a huge personal success, although no trophies were forthcoming as Barcelona continued their domestic dominance and Real Madrid again bowed out in the Champions League second round. Under fellow countryman Jose Mourinho, Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to the Copa del Rey in the 2010/11 season, scoring the winning goal against Barcelona in the final. He also beat the all-time record for goals in a single season in La Liga, turning on the afterburners (11 in the final four games) in the final weeks to take his tally to 40 for the season. Another Personal Best Barcelona’s Lionel Messi would exceed that tally the following season, but 2011/12 was also to be Ronaldo’s best to date. He netted 46 in the league and a sublime 63 in all competition as Real Madrid reclaimed the Liga title from Barcelona. His goal against Barca in a 2-1 Liga win at Camp Nou all but ensured Real Madrid’s first title since 2008. Indeed, 2011/12 was the season Ronaldo started to match his performance in El Clasico with those against the league’s lesser lights. Ronaldo has surpassed the 50-goal mark for Real Madrid in each of the seasons since and in the 2013/14 campaign he netted a record 17 in 11 Champions League matches as the club finally achieved La Decima—their 10th European Cup. Another stunning season, of course, saw Ronaldo retain the FIFA Ballon d'Or which he has also won the previous year. International Level Ronaldo was first called up to the senior Portugal squad in August 2003, and made the final cut for Euro 2004, where he scored two goals. But on home turf, Portugal lost to Greece in the final. Seven goals helped his country qualify for the 2006 World Cup, but at the big event in Germany, he could only muster a penalty against Iran as Portugal lost to France in the semi-finals. Ronaldo again flourished in qualifying for Euro 2008, but was disappointing when the big event came around as Portugal went out in the quarter-finals. Despite a scintillating first season in a Real Madrid shirt, Ronaldo again looked bereft at his next major tournament—the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He netted in the 7-0 rout of North Korea, but like many of the tournament’s other major stars, failed to deliver and did little as Portugal bowed out to eventual winners Spain in the second round. Ronaldo's three goals helped Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012, after he had made a slow start to the tournament. The 2014 World Cup was a deep disappointment, though, as a knee tendonitis problem undermined his displays. He scored just once as Portugal bowed out in the group stage amid speculation that he did not believe in his teammates.