Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in 1985. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world. The legendary Dutch genius Johan Cruyff said he's one of the best ever. Ronaldo became a soccer superstar playing for English team Manchester United, Spain's Real Madrid and for Portugal. He plays in midfield, from where he regularly scores spectacular goals.
Ronaldo started kicking a ball around when he was three. His skill was obvious then and by ten years old, two of Portugal's top clubs wanted to sign him. He joined Sporting Lisbon and became the only player in their history to play for the Under-16, Under-17, Under-18, B team and first-team within one season. His skills soon attracted Europe's big teams.
Manchester United decided Ronaldo was the perfect replacement for David Beckham and signed him in 2003. He set the English Premier League alight in his time there with his silky skills, and helped the team win nine trophies, including the UEFA Champions League. He also picked up the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2008.
In 2009, Ronaldo joined his boyhood heroes Real Madrid and became the most expensive footballer in history. His transfer fee was over $131 million. He broke Real's scoring record in his second season, with 53 goals in all competitions. He bettered that in 2011-12, netting 60 times to help Real win Spain's La Liga. In 2012, Diego Maradona said Ronaldo was "the best player on the planet."