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Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most popular soccer players on the planet. While he is a superstar athlete, there are a few things fans might not know about him.

In this video, you will learn about the untold truth of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Humble Beginnings

Just like many success stories out there, Cristiano Ronaldo’s story started from a humble beginning. He grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Funchal, the capital of the island of Madeira. He is the fourth and youngest child of a municipal gardener and a cook. He grew up in a Catholic background within an impoverished home. In fact, he shared a room with his three siblings – Hugo, Elma, and Liliana.

His name Ronaldo was added by his father in honor of his favorite movie actor – Ronald Reagan. He was the US President when he was born.

At the young age of 9, Ronaldo started to play soccer. He was made fun of by his teammates because his father used to work part-time as a cleaner of their locker rooms as a way to earn extra money. But even with his teammates’ mockery, it did not keep him from playing soccer. In fact, it only pushed him to train even harder.

By the time he was 11, he joined the Sporting CP and continued his football training. The team manager at that time was impressed with his dribbling skills so he became the first ever player to become part of the under-16, under-17, under-18, B team, and first team within a single season. In 2002, he officially debuted for the Primera Liga. His team won via a 3-0 score and he scored two of those goals.

And as they say, the rest is history…

Personal Relationships

At the young age of 14, Ronaldo witnessed his father’s health decline due to alcoholism. His brother also got into a drug addiction problem. Because of his alcoholism, his father’s health deteriorated until he eventually died when Ronaldo was only 20 years old. His father was only 52 years old at the time of his death. His mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer but has since fully recovered.

Because of this tragic event in his life, Ronaldo refused to drink alcohol. He has also fully supported his brother’s fight against addiction.

Ronaldo is a father himself with four children. In 2010, he became a father for the first time. His first born is a son named Cristiano Jr. with whom he has full custody of.

In 2015, he revealed that his high-profile relationship with Russian model Irina Shayk has officially ended after being together for five years. By 2017, he became a father for a second time – this time via surrogacy – to twins Eva and Mateo. In that same year, his Spanish model girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez also gave birth to his fourth child, a daughter named Alana.

Philanthropy and Charity Work

Throughout his career, Ronaldo has done a lot of contributions to various charitable institutions. In 2008, he received undisclosed damages from The Sun after winning a libel case against them. He used that money and donated it to a charity in his native of Madeira in Portugal.

He also donated £100,000 to the hospital that treated his mother from her breast cancer diagnosis in 2009. He envisioned for the hospital to build their own cancer center that will be used by many other cancer patients in the island. Just recently, his mother was rushed to the hospital after suffering from a stroke. His mother, Dolores, suffered from ischemic stroke but has since been in stable condition.

Ronaldo took to his Twitter account to give his fans an update about the condition of his mother. In particular, he thanked his fans for their messages of support towards her recovery.

In 2015, he was named as the most charitable sportsperson after he donated £5 million towards the relief efforts in the Nepal earthquake. The said natural disaster reportedly killed more than 8,000 people. He also donated his €600,000 bonus to a charity following a win by Real Madrid in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League.

Lending a Hand to Children

Ronaldo is known for two things: his excellent soccer skills and his charitable contributions. But there is one particular demographic with which he has had a soft spot for in terms of his generosity – children.

In 2012, he showed support for a boy who was suffering from terminal cancer. He is a nine-year-old boy from Canaria who has been battling brain cancer for several years. When the boy’s family got in touch with Ronaldo and his agent, Jorge Mendes, they arranged for him to undergo a new experimental treatment in the US. His doctors previously told the young boy’s family that there was no point in curing the disease because the cancer has spread to the boy’s spine. Nonetheless, Ronaldo covered for his treatment and expenses to fly to the US to battle his cancer. He has been seen sporting two lines on the back of his hair, which is supposedly a tribute to the scars that the boy had suffered in his battle with cancer.

This cancer-stricken boy is not the only young child that he has shown support for. He did the exact same thing to another sick boy, this time a 9-month-old child who was suffering from a brain disorder. His name was Erik Ortiz Cruz. He was asked to donate his cleats for a charity auction to raise funds for the child’s surgery, which is estimated to cost $83,000.

Young Erik was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, which is a condition that causes him to suffer multiple seizures per day. When the condition of the child came to Ronaldo’s attention, he offered to not only donate his shoes but also to pay for his entire treatment.

The soccer superstar is also an ambassador for Save the Children, which is an international non-government organization. He has made several generous donations to the organization to support its cause.

Building a Children’s Hospital

Ronaldo continued his support for children’s welfare when he announced that he will help fund the construction of a children’s hospital in the city of Santiago in Chile. This announcement was made in December 2017 via his lawyers. According to the New York-based law firm Brafman & Associates, the construction of the said pediatric facility is expected to be completed by the year 2020. Aside from Ronaldo, Italian businessman Alessandro Proto also pledged his support for the construction of the said hospital.

This is not the first time that Ronaldo is giving back to help a community. Long known for his charitable works, he also helped his own hometown – the Portuguese island of Madeira in June of 2016. The island was hit with severe wildfires in the spring of 2016. This wildfire resulted in 3 casualties, as well as several injuries. Many people also lost their homes to the wildfire.

Two days following the spread of the wildfire, Ronaldo came to the aid of the people in the island where he was born and raised. He offered financial aid to help with the recovery of the community from this disaster, although the full amount of his financial aid has never been disclosed.

Saved Dogs in Shelter

Aside from helping humans and charitable institutions, Ronaldo has extended his generosity to save dogs’ lives. The dog shelter in concern suffered from financial difficulties and was on the brink of closing. Upon hearing news about this, Ronaldo showed his generosity once again.

His act of kindness came upon the request of Cantinho da Lili, which is a dog rescue center that is based in Gouvenia in Portugal. The dog rescue center struggled to keep up with its veterinary bills that have reached a total of €2,000.

A volunteer from the center reached out to a family member of Ronaldo and he was quick to respond to their cry for help. He sent the center an autographed shirt that they auctioned in order to generate the funds needed to rescue up to 80 dogs in the shelter.

According to Liliana Santos, one of the workers at the dog rescue center: “I want to thank Ronaldo from the bottom of my heart. It's a simple gesture, but very important.”

Supporting Another’s Dream

In 2004, television footage of an 8-year-old boy became widely known following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster. The survivor in question was a boy named Martunis. He was seen wearing a number 7 Portuguese football shirt. The young boy’s entire family was killed by the tsunami and he was the only survivor left in his family. This tsunami was known as one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.

After seeing the footage of the young boy’s survival, Ronaldo flew to Aceh, Indonesia. He helped to raise funds to facilitate the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected communities. In addition to helping the community, he also paid for the education of the young survivor. Aside from the educational support he got from Ronaldo, the Portugal team also raised funds to help rebuild the young boy’s family home.

Eleven years later, Martunis was signed by Sporting Lisbon, which was Ronaldo’s old club.

Staying in Shape

Ronaldo is regarded as one of the best athletes in the world – regardless of the sport. In fact, he has multiple endorsements because of his amazing shape and fitness level. But not a lot of people know that he had a heart surgery at the young age of 15. This was revealed by the soccer star himself in an interview with the Daily Mail in 2009.

According to his mom, Dolores:

“His heart raced a lot when he wasn't running. Before we knew exactly what he had, I was worried because there was the possibility of him giving up playing football. But the treatment went well and after some days he was back at training again... It seems the treatment allowed him to run even faster!”

Because of his health history, Ronaldo has committed to keeping his body and health in top shape. He emphasizes the importance of discipline and steady goals as his secret to staying in shape. He also says that he likes to find a workout partner who is at the same level as him in order to keep him motivated. Diet is also a huge part of his preparation. He cites eating six small meals per day.

While he does work hard, he also insists on rest and relaxation. According to Ronaldo:

“Training and physical sessions are most important, but living a relaxed lifestyle helps you to be the best you can be, physically and mentally.”

One of Soccer’s Best Players of All-Time

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players of all-time. In fact, he has numerous individual awards and trophies to his name.

He first played for Sporting CP before he signed with Manchester United at the age of 18 (in 2003). He won the FA Cup during his first season of play and then helped his team win three more titles: Premiere League, UEFA Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup. When he was 23, he received his first Ballon d’Or.

In 2009, he signed with Real Madrid, which is one of the most expensive football transfers in the history of football valued at €94 million. While playing for Real Madrid, he won 15 trophies from La Liga, Copas del Rey, and UEFA Champions League. He was also named as Real Madrid’s top goalscorer of all-time.

He won two more Ballon d’Or in 2013-14 and 2016-17 seasons. He also finished runner-up three times, falling behind only Lionel Messi – one of his toughest rivals. When he won the Champions League for Real Madrid in 2018, he became the only player to win it five times. That same year, he signed with Juventus for another lucrative contract worth €100 million. This was the highest amount that was paid by an Italian club and for a player that was over the age of 30.

Individually, he has four European Golden Shoes, which is an award given to the leading goalscorer in all of the matches for a given season. He also has five Ballon D’Ors to his name, which is a record for any European player.

Known as a highly marketable athlete, Ronaldo consistently ranks as one of the highest paid athletes by Forbes. He earned that recognition in 2016 and 2017. He was also named by ESPN as the most famous athlete from 2016 to 2019. With estimated earnings of €720 million, he is number two on Forbes’ list of the highest paid athletes of the decade.

Did any of these facts about Cristiano Ronaldo surprise you?

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