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Cristiano Ronaldo is no doubt one of the best players in the world today especially with his recent pattern of breaking records. Some may even argue that he is the best currently.
We bring you a few facts many people may not know about about the Real Madrid soccer star:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo never wanted the number 7 shirt.
Ronaldo who was offered the number 7 shirt after joining Manchester United back in 2002-03,became too worried about the pressure that the shirt that was worn by club legends like Johnny Berry, George Best, Steve Coppell, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham came along with.
“After I joined, the manager asked me what number I’d like,” he told The Sun. “I said 28. But Ferguson said ‘No, you’re going to have No. 7,’ and the famous shirt was an extra source of motivation. I was forced to live up to such an honour.”
He was later given the same number at Real Madrid when long-serving club captain Raul Gonzales left the club for Schalke.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo was arrested with rape charges.
A month after his father’s death, Cristiano Ronaldo was taken into custody after being accused of raping a woman at a London hotel. But, he was soon granted bail by the Scotland Yard due to lack of evidence to pursue a case against him. The charges were subsequently dropped a month later.
“I was notified that the police investigation has been closed and no action will be taken against me in relation to the allegations made previously,” Ronaldo later spoke over the incident. “I have always strongly maintained my innocence of any wrong-doing and I am glad that this matter is at an end so that I can concentrate on playing for Manchester United.”
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3. His footballing career almost ended when he was 15.
Cristiano Ronaldo was diagnosed with racing heart when he was 15, something that could have forced the Ballon D’or winner to retire even before the start of his football career . He was representing Sporting CP then, and the staff was made aware of the situation.
“His heart raced a lot when he wasn’t running,” Dolores Aveiro, mother of Ronaldo later revealed. “They used a sort of laser to check the source of the problem. He was operated on in the morning and came out at the end of the afternoon.”
The surgery was successful and, he was discharged from hospital by the end of the afternoon.
“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.”
4. He wasn’t good enough for Liverpool.
Back in 2003, Liverpool were on the verge of signing Ronaldo who would later on move to Manchester United for £12.2 million from Sporting. Former Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier had admitted to have watched him play, but due to lack of funds and lack of interest, talks broke down.
“I saw him in the Toulon Under-21 tournament and we went for him, but we had a wage scale and we weren’t paying the sort of salary he wanted,” he told Daily Mail. “Then Manchester United played a friendly against Sporting Lisbon and all their boys said to Sir Alex Ferguson, “You have to sign him”. But I agreed with not breaking the wage structure. I thought it would cause problems in our dressing room.”
5. It was Ronaldo’s mother who called him a cry-baby first.
Often accused of being an actor on pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo’s history with bad name-calling is quite a common norm these days. Rival fans taunt him in several ways, a ‘cry-baby’ is one of them. But, surprisingly it was the player’s mother who nicknamed him ‘cry-baby’, not the supporters.
His mother, Dolores Aveiro revealed: “He was nicknamed ‘cry-baby’. He cried and got angry very easily – if a team-mate didn’t pass him the ball, if he or someone else missed a goal or a pass, or if the team team wasn’t playing how he wanted.”
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6. Cristiano Ronaldo was expelled from school for throwing a chair at his teacher.
Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the popular kids at school, however, his reputation didn’t help him when he was expelled after throwing a chair at his teacher who made fun of his Madeiran accent, and mocked his family’s financial status. .
“I was not thick but I was not interested in school,” he admits. “I was expelled after I threw a chair at the teacher. He disrespected me.”
7. Cristiano Ronaldo is everything but selfish.
Often accused of being a selfish player, he is often mistaken to be a person who is arrogant and full of ego which is not the case. He has always been involved with fund raising NGOs, and has even donated £100,000 to the hospital back in 200 so that they could build a cancer centre in his native island Madeira. In addition, he had once sold his golden boot, the won he had won in 2011 for €1.5 million. He, later, used the money to fund schools for children in Gaza. He also acts as an ambassador to Save the Children and The Mangrove Care Forum in Indonesia.