The Making of a Football god: Ronaldo at 39

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By Leeroy Wuone

Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Santo Antonio, the mountainous neighborhood of Funchal, Madeira. The Portuguese superstar  was born on February 5, 1985 as the youngest of four children; two girls and two

Ronaldo’s mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro was a cook and cleaning lady while his
father, Jose Dinis Aveiro was a gardener and the parents ensured that they worked extremely hard to
provide for Cristiano’s siblings and Cristiano himself.

Ronaldo who had trouble controlling his temper was expelled from school for throwing a chair at a
teacher and this led the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star to assume he would become a village fisherman.

One time when asked by Canal 11 where he thought he would be at the age of 35 as a kid he said he thought he was going to be a fisherman in his village In Madeira.

“This never came to my mind and I wanted to be a professional footballer but I
did not think I was going to win everything I won by 35,’’ he said.

Cristiano who had little interest in academics later joined Clube Desportivo Nacional of Madeira and then transferred to Sporting Clube de Portugal or Sporting CP also known as Sporting Lisbon, where he played for various youth teams.

The then teenager made 31 appearances for Clube Sporting Lisbon and scored 5 goals as he later went on
to be signed by English club Manchester United in 2003 at 18 years old. It was later revealed he joined
the English giants because every other club that was interested in signing the winger wanted to loan him back to sporting CP. This was revealed by his agent Jorge Mendes.

In Manchester United’s 2008 squad, instead of being part of the frontline, Ronaldo primarily played as a right-sided midfielder in former United coach Sir Alex Ferguson’s preferred 4-2-2 formation. He played on the right and operated as a hybrid right midfielder-winger.

The 2008 UEFA Champions league took place on 21 May 2008 at the Luzhniki Stadium in
Moscow, Russia and was contested between Man United and Chelsea, making it an all-English final for the first time in the history of the UEFA competition.

Manchester United won the game after a 6-5 penalty shootout win, as CR7 was the Fan’s man of the match having scored the opener goal in the 26th minute after a cross by Wes Brown while Edwin van der Sar, the united veteran goalkeeper was the UEFA man of the match.

The Portuguese will forever go down as one of La Liga’s all time greats having made the switch to Spanish giants, Real Madrid in 2009 and enjoyed an incredible nine-year stint in the Spanish capital as he went on to score a total record of 450 goals and 131 assists in 438 games while winning 4 ballon d’ors with the Los Blancos.

Most football fans can attest they enjoyed the positive football rivalry between Cristiano and Argentine great Lionel Messi of who plied his trade at arch rivals Barcelona at the time, well known for his dribbling and use of his magic wand of a left foot.

At Juventus club in Turin Italy, the famous number seven managed to become the fastest ever Juventus
player to score 100 goals for the club having been  signed for a reported fee of 117 million euros from the Los Blancos in the summer of 2018 .

Currently at Al-Nassr after making a surprise move to the Saudi pro league, Cristiano has managed to score a whooping 44 goals in 50 games for the Riyadh based team. Two of these goals earned the team a trophy as Al-Nassr won their first Arab Club Champions cup in 2023 courtesy of a CR7 brace in the final against rivals Al-Hilal.

Apart from football the polarizing superstar has had great impact in society having supported a wide range of charities, including Save the Children, UNICEF, and world vision. He has also donated money to help victims of natural disasters such as the Nepal earthquake and the covid-19 pandemic.

For sure outside the pitch Cristiano the GOAT isn’t as fierce as he seems in boots and on shorts. For me, CR7 is my greatest of all time footballer, for some Messi for his humbleness, natural skill and immense impact he has had among football lovers more so his hometown In Rosario, Argentina.

Happy 39th birthday CR7, 5th February,1 985 and a GOAT was born

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