Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the clear favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, but here are five things you may have not have known about the 29-year-old.
In the build-up to the Ballon d’Or gala on 12 January, Ronaldo is the next star selected in our 5 Things feature.
1) Ronaldo was actually born as Cristiano Dos Santos Aveiro, but his father, who was a huge fan of then-USA president and former actor Ronald Reagan, decided to give Cristiano the name “Ronaldo” as his second name, and he has carried this name into his footballing career.
2) Ronaldo’s career almost ended before it started as he had to have a heart surgery to correct a racing heart beat at the age of 15. Luckily, the operation was successful and he could continue training a few days later.
3) In 2003, an 18-year-old Ronaldo played with Sporting Lisbon against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly. He gave the United defense such a hard time, scoring one goal in Sporting’s 3-2 victory, that a couple of United players asked Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him. But Sir Alex had reportedly already made up his mind and within a week the Portuguese was a Red Devil.
4) Ronaldo initially rejected the wear the famous number 7 shirt at Manchester United. But the former Sporting Lisbon youth player was ordained by Sir Alex Ferguson to wear the Red Devils’ number 7 jersey which had been carried by legends such as George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham in the past.
5) When Cristiano Ronaldo was presented by Florentino Perez as a Real Madrid player, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium counted almost 80,000 fans.This saw him surpassing Diego Maradona’s record of 75,000 fans when the Argentine legend was presented as a Napoli player in 1984.
Did you know these facts about Cristiano Ronaldo? Have your say in the comment section below.