The man behind the Ballon d’Or

Here are some key facts about the star player, Cristiano Ronaldo:

Early days

  •  Born February 5 1985 in Funchal, Madeira.
  • Plays youth team football at Nacional before joining Sporting Lisbon in 2002.

Manchester United

  • Alex Ferguson signs 18-year-old Ronaldo for about £12-million in August 2003 after an outstanding performance against his United side in a pre-season friendly.
  • Named United’s 2003-2004 Player of the Year in his debut season and secures an FA Cup winners’ medal.
  •  United win the 2006-2007 Premier League title and Ronaldo is named Footballer of the Year in England and Portugal.
  • Scores first Champions League goals in the main competition with a double in a 7-1 thrashing of AS Roma.
  • Voted World Player of the Year having already become the third Portuguese to win Europe’s Ballon d’Or award following Eusebio in 1965 and Luis Figo in 2000.
  • Scores 118 goals in 292 appearances for United.

Real Madrid

  • Becomes the world’s most expensive player when he signs for Real for a fee of €94-million euros in 2009.
  •  Nets 26 goals in 29 La Liga appearances in 2009-2010 and seven in six Champions League outings but Real finish the season without any major silverware and coach Manuel Pellegrini is sacked and replaced by Ronaldo’s compatriot Jose Mourinho.
  • Scores a Spanish record of 40 goals in 34 games in 2010-2011, including a superb header to win the King’s Cup final against Barcelona.
  • Increases his best tally for a La Liga season to 46 goals in 38 games in 2011-2012 but is surpassed by Barça forward Lionel Messi, who scores 50 in 37 games. Real win La Liga.
  • Has a poor season by his standards in 2012-2013 and Real fail to win major silverware, prompting Mourinho’s exit.
  • Scores a single-season record 17 goals in the Champions League in 2013-2014 as Real secure a 10th European title. Nets a penalty in the final in a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid after extra time.
  • Wins the Club World Cup as Real Madrid beat San Lorenzo 2-0 in the final. Claims Ballon d’Or award in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
  • Scores the decisive spot kick in the penalty shoot out against Atletico to give Real their 11th Champions League title in 2016. — Reuters

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