Cristiano Ronaldo Speaker Profile
Cristiano Ronaldo Biography
Cristiano Ronaldo was born February 5, 1985 and is aPortuguese footballer who plays asa winger or a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and serves as captain of thePortuguese national team. Ronaldo currently holds the distinction of being themost expensive player in football history after being transferred fromManchester 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 paid11 million per year over the following six years, makes him the highest paidfootball player in the world.
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 moveto Portuguese giants Sporting CP. Ronaldo's precocious talent caught theattention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and he signed the18-year-old for 12.24 million in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won hisfirst club honour, the FA Cup, and reached the Euro 2004 final with Portugal,in which tournament he scored his first international goal.
In 2008, Ronaldo won the Champions League with United, andwas named player of the tournament. He was named the FIFPro World Player of theYear and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming ManchesterUnited's first Ballon d'Or winner in 40 years. Three-time Ballon d'Or winnerJohan Cruyff said in an interview on 2 April 2008, Ronaldo is better thanGeorge Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in thehistory of United.
Ronaldo was the second-highest scorer in FIFA World Cup qualification in theEuropean zone with seven goals, and scored his first and only World Cup goalagainst Iran with a penalty kick.
During a quarter-final match against England on 1 July 2006,Ronaldo's United teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Portugaldefender Ricardo Carvalho. The English media speculated that Ronaldo hadinfluenced referee Horacio Elizondo's decision by aggressively complaining,after which he was seen in replays winking at the Portuguese bench followingRooney's dismissal. After the match, Ronaldo insisted that Rooney was a friendand that he was not pushing for Rooney to be sent off. On 4 July, Elizondo clarifiedthat the red card was due to Rooney's infraction and not the fracas betweenRooney and Ronaldo that followed.
The angry reaction from the English press caused Ronaldo toconsider leaving United, and he allegedly told Spanish sports daily Marca thathe wished to move to Real Madrid. In response to the speculation, Ferguson sentPortuguese assistant manager Carlos Queiroz to speak to Ronaldo in attempt tochange his mind, a sentiment that was shared by Rooney. Ronaldo stayed, and signedhis new five-year extension in April 2007.
Ronaldo was booed during Portugal's semi-final defeat toFrance, and missed out on the competition's Best Young Player award due to anegative e-mail campaign from England fans. Though the online vote onlyaffected the nomination process, FIFA's Technical Study Group awarded thehonour to Germany's Lukas Podolski, citing Ronaldo's behaviour as a factor inthe decision.
One day after his 22nd birthday, Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first timein a friendly against Brazil on 6 February 2007. This move was in honour ofPortuguese Football Federation president Carlos Silva, who had died two days earlier. Portugal coachLuiz Felipe Scolari explained, Mr. Silva asked me to make [Ronaldo]captain as a gesture... [he] is too young to be captain, but Mr. Silva askedme, and now he is no longer with us.
Ronaldo scored eight goals in Portugal's UEFA Euro 2008qualifying campaign, behind Poland's Ebi Smolarek, but finished with only onegoal in the tournament as Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals byGermany. Since the appointment of new Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, Ronaldohas been named the new captain of the squad.
On 10 September 2009, in a World Cup qualification matchagainst Hungary, Ronaldo provided an assist for the first goal scored by Simoand Portugal went to win the game 30. Following the win against Malta by 40,and the Sweden loss to Denmark, Portugal finished in second place, whichqualified them for the UEFA playoff. Ronaldo was called-up for the play-offswith much controversy and disagreement from the Merengues, due to the injury hehad aggravated on the game against Hungary, and was submitted to physicals bythe Portuguese team, but was later announced his inability to play against Bosniaand Herzegovina.
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