One of The Greatest of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese football legend is the most followed person on Instagram but he is also a superhero for his charitable work.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s family helps him stay grounded but they can also break his heart at times. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was reduced to tears when recently shown a videotaped interview of his late father conducted in 2004, a year before his death.

While José Dinis Aveiro said he was proud of his son, Cristiano’s father explained that he’d prefer to watch the Euro 2004 championship at home rather than at the stadium in Lisbon, Portugal. “My nerves are too much. I get too anxious. I can’t do it.”

Cristiano Rinaldo: A Legend

Cristiano was knocked down by his father’s comments and overwhelmed with memories of growing up with an alcoholic father who died when Cristiano was 20. He regretted they never really had a proper conversation, he explained, and that his father didn’t live long enough to see Cristiano rise to fame or share in the joy of his awards. “My father, he saw nothing. He died young. But it is what it is,” Cristiano said, wiping away tears.

Arguably the greatest footballer on earth (his rivalry with Lionel Messi is the stuff of legend), Cristiano still wonders if his success was due to his father watching over him from heaven. While his home life was far from perfect, it was José Dinis Aveiro who introduced Cristiano to football – known as soccer in America – and guided him to become the man he is today. Cristiano Ronaldo is not just competitive and driven, but also anxious to improve the world for the sake of his six children and those he touches through his work with Save the Children and other charities.

True superhero

Cristiano Ronaldo has never lacked in self-confidence, once telling an interviewer: “Most of the time, I inspired myself. I’m self-motivated.”

His background is the key to understanding his relentless drive, however. It was a long, difficult climb for Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, born in 1985 and named after his father’s favorite actor Ronald Reagan.

He grew up in Madeira, Portugal, a volcanic island in the North Atlantic where the shops are now packed with Ronaldo football jerseys, hats, mugs, and backpacks. There’s a Ronaldo bronze statue to greet visitors at the airport – named, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport – and a CR7 Museum to display his trophies and sell miniature golden boots.

Cristiano Renaldo’s epic journey

Cristiano was a proud but troubled boy, the youngest of four children. His mother was a cook and a cleaner. The family was so poor his mother, Dolores Aveiro, considered terminating her pregnancy and tried a homemade recipe, she revealed in her book Mother Courage. “He told me when he found out, ‘Look mum, you wanted to abort me and now I’m the one who’s pulling the purse-strings in the house,” Dolores later recalled.

Cristiano had trouble controlling his temper and was expelled from school for throwing a chair at a teacher. He assumed he’d become a village fisherman and wasn’t interested in academics. Cristiano was obsessed with football, however, and quit school at age 14 to practice full time.

True superhero

Cristiano Ronaldo has never lacked in self-confidence, once telling an interviewer: “Most of the time, I inspired myself. I’m self-motivated.”

His background is the key to understanding his relentless drive, however. It was a long, difficult climb for Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, born in 1985 and named after his father’s favorite actor Ronald Reagan.

He grew up in Madeira, Portugal, a volcanic island in the North Atlantic where the shops are now packed with Ronaldo football jerseys, hats, mugs, and backpacks. There’s a Ronaldo bronze statue to greet visitors at the airport – named, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport – and a CR7 Museum to display his trophies and sell miniature golden boots.

Cristiano Renaldo’s epic journey

Cristiano was a proud but troubled boy, the youngest of four children. His mother was a cook and a cleaner. The family was so poor his mother, Dolores Aveiro, considered terminating her pregnancy and tried a homemade recipe, she revealed in her book Mother Courage. “He told me when he found out, ‘Look mum, you wanted to abort me and now I’m the one who’s pulling the purse-strings in the house,” Dolores later recalled.

Cristiano had trouble controlling his temper and was expelled from school for throwing a chair at a teacher. He assumed he’d become a village fisherman and wasn’t interested in academics. Cristiano was obsessed with football, however, and quit school at age 14 to practice full time.

Embrace Greatness

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