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Ronaldo celebrating after scoring a goal for Real Madrid


Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH, (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɾɨʃtiˈɐnu ʁuˈnaɫdu]; born 5 February 1985),[2] commonly known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a winger or a forward for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and is the captain of the Portuguese national team. Ronaldo is the most expensive player in football history after moving from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer deal worth £80 million (94m, US$132m). In addition, his contract with Real Madrid, in which he is to be paid £11 million per year over the following six years, makes him the highest-paid football player in the world,[3] and values him at €1 billion as per his buyout clause.[4]

Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, then moved to Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal. Ronaldo's precocious talent caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and signed the 18-year-old for £12.24 million in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup and played at Euro 2004 with Portugal. Ronaldo scored his first international goal in the opening game of the tournament against Greece, although Greece won 2–1. Portugal reached the final, which they again lost to Greece.

Ronaldo was the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. In 2008, Ronaldo won the Champions League with United, was named best forward and player of the tournament and was the competition's top goalscorer as well as winning the European Golden Shoe, becoming the first winger to do so, and topping the Premier League Golden Boot award. He won three of the four main PFA and FWA trophies and was named the FIFPro, World Soccer and Onze d'Or Player of the Year[5][6][7] and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or winner in 40 years.[8] Ronaldo holds the distinction of being the first player to win the FIFA Puskás Award, an honour handed by FIFA to the best goal of the year. He scored that goal from 40 yards out against FC Porto in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final match, while playing for Manchester United.[9] Three-time Ballon d'Or winner Johan Cruyff said in an interview on 2 April 2008, "Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United.

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