- Full name Cristiano Ronaldo
- Birth date February 5, 1985
- Birth place Madeira, Portugal
- Current age 29 years 318 days
- Height 6 ft 1 in
A much-vaunted prodigy when snapped up by Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, Ronaldo is now perhaps, apart from David Beckham, the best-known player on the planet.
The FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008 and a winger who plundered an unbelievable 42 goals across all competitions in 2007-08, Ronaldo won all there was to win with the Red Devils and finally earned his dream move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a world record fee of £80 million as part of the new era of galacticos at the Bernabeu.
After blossoming under Sir Alex Ferguson at United, he had the chance to come of age at the 2006 World Cup, though one of the memorable images of the tournament was his wink at the bench after Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney was sent off in a game against England. He also came in for fierce criticism for diving, which resulted in him being booed at games and it cost him the Young Player of the Tournament award.
In his second season at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo became the first player to win the European Golden Shoe award in two different leagues, after becoming the first player to surpass 40 goals in La Liga, scoring a phenomenal 53 goals in all competitions, only to see both marks bettered by Lionel Messi a year later.
Love him or loathe him, it is hard to ignore his talent and his skills are almost beyond comparison in the world game
Strengths: Ronaldo will take on any defender with searing pace, and mesmerising footwork to boot. His ability to beat a player and whip in crosses makes him a feared opponent. Add to that the way his free-kicks swerve with pace and power and this winger would be an asset to any team, past and present.
Weaknesses: Goes to ground far too easily which attracts the ire of supporters and sometimes tries a trick when a simple pass would do.
Career high: Winning the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, and subsequently being named FIFA's World Player of the Year.
Career low: Losing to Greece in the final of Euro 2004 on home turf. His tears were caught on camera for all to see.
Style: Fast, tricky, strong, a mesmeric dribbler.
Quotes: "I have nothing but praise for the boy. He is easily the best player in the world. He is better than Kaka and better than Messi. He is streets ahead of them all. His contribution as a goal threat is unbelievable. His stats are incredible. Strikes at goal, attempts on goal, raids into the penalty box, headers. It is all there. Absolutely astounding." Sir Alex Ferguson, July 2009.
Trivia: Cristiano's name Ronaldo came from his father's favorite actor, Ronald Reagan.
- Ronaldo is the boss at Madrid - Bale (Sep 2, 2013)
- Ribery tipped to edge Messi, Ronaldo (Aug 29, 2013)
- Bale out of UEFA award shortlist (Aug 6, 2013)
- Irwin: Ronaldo could return to United (Aug 4, 2013)
Real's Bale chase driven by Ronaldo fear (Jul 31, 2013)