Cristiano Ronaldo – undoubtedly one of the best football players in the world, some people love him, others hate. Some consider him an arrogant person, others appreciate his sincerity and self-efficacy. He’s a football player who evokes a lot of emotions (wherever he goes) and can be proud of his meteoric career. Nowadays, his initials and number 7 are registered trademarks. How did he achieve this all?
He was born in Funchal, the capital of Portuguese Island Madera, on February 5, 1985, as the fourth child of family Aveiro – as admits his mother – unplanned. His father Danis was a gardener and definitely overused alcohol. His mother was working hard as a cook. Life of the family, much like their neighbors, wasn’t easy. Their house was far too small for the 6-person family and leaked to boot. Little Cristiano at the age of 2-3 befriended ball. He even slept with it.
Cristiano wasn’t a top student but teachers remember him as well-behaved and cheerful. Since beginning it was visible that football was his greatest passion – he often skipped classes to train, he could make a ball even out of socks. He played in the street because there wasn’t any football ground nearby. At the age of 6, he joins the first football club. His coach remembers that he was very slim but he had the will to fight, he always cried when he couldn’t play or his team lost a game. Cristiano right from the beginning treated football very seriously. He had two nicknames “Crier”, sometimes he cried just because his friend didn’t pass the ball to him, and “Abelinha” (little bee) because he was unstoppable on the field.
Within a few years his name becomes well-known throughout the whole Island, the greatest clubs start to be interested in him. At the age of 10, Cristiano transferred to Nacional Madera. It’s visible to the naked eye that the boy is emaciated and malnourished. Coaches told his father that he had to eat more, however, his skills and determination weren’t up for discussion – he’s always wanted to be the best. At the age of 12, he had another transfer, this time to the club in the capital of Portugal – Sporting CP. The club paid for the first time so much money for 12 year- old boy – 22 500 euros. Moving out from his family house was hard for Cristiano as well as for his family.
His beginnings in Lisbon were hard. He was the youngest in the team, his days were meticulously organized: classes until 5 p.m. and then training. Children at school laughed at him because of his accent. It was difficult to understand him because his local language varies considerably from the Portuguese used in the capital city. On the first day, Cristiano went berserk and threatened the teacher with a chair. A few days later he refused the coach to clean the dressing room and because of it he got punished, he couldn’t play in several matches. Young football player cried almost every day, missed his family, friends, and island. In one of the interviews, Cristiano said that it was hardest time in his life.
At the age of 15, the doctor detected a severe problem with his heart – the operation was necessary. It turned out that he had a congenital heart defect and because of it his puls was higher than it should be. Thankfully, doctors used a special laser to repair the damaged zone which allowed Cristiano to continue his sporting career.
Young football player didn’t stop to surprise, he was transferred to Manchester United after 3 years. It was an enormous privilege for the 18-year-old boy but also a big challenge. He didn’t understand English, he hated this subject at school. To make things worse, the English press was very skeptical of young Portuguese because the club wanted to pay a vast amount of money for him. Cristiano bit the bullet one more time and showed his worth. He became the most expensive teenager in the history of British football – the club paid for him 15 mln euro. His debut was a big success, he was named Man of the Match but shortly after that, he was accused of simulating fouls. Cristiano had problems to adjust to English play where defenders could do things which in Portugal are unacceptable. September 21, after the match with Arsenal because of these differences, the fight broke out between Cristiano and Martin Keown, young Portuguese had to pay the forfeit – 4 000 pounds.
At the age of 19, Cristiano was called up to the Portugal national football team. It’s a great honor for him, he’s enormously motivated and wanted to be the European Champion. Unfortunately, the match finished with emphatic failure, Ronaldo felt that he let down his motherland. In newspapers appeared photos of Cristiano who was crying and looking at the sky with his hands folded in prayers.
His life involves both successes and failures. He had to overcome many obstacles. The football player was falsely accused of rape, his father died, he had many arguments with teammates. Every time when it’s hard Cristiano has to remember about one thing – being the football player was his dream since childhood, football is his passion and no matter what happens, he has to be strong and move on. His story is incredibly inspiring and shows that the most important is to believe in your dreams, upgrade your skills and be persistent.
The article written on the basis of the book “Ronaldo: The Obsession for Perfection” by Luca Caioli.