Author(s): Guillem Balague
Cristiano Ronaldo is known across the globe as a Portuguese footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team. He became the most expensive footballer in history when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth over GBP80 million. Ronaldo's contract with Real Madrid, under the terms of which he is paid ?21 million per year (after taxes), makes him the highest-paid footballer in the world, and his buy-out clause is valued at ?1 billion as per his contract. Born in Funchal, Madeira in 1985, and as early as 1997 he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal. Ronaldo caught the attention of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him for GBP12.24 million (?15 million) in 2003. He wore the number 7 shirt which was previously worn by George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Ronaldo was the first player playing in England to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. In 2008 and 2013, Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or award for the best footballer on the planet, being the first ever Portuguese to win the award twice. He is the first top European league player to reach 40 goals in a single season in two consecutive years, fastest Real Madrid player to reach 100 league goals, and the first player ever to score against every team in a single season in La Liga. He also holds records for the most goals scored in a season for Real Madrid and most goals scored per minute in La Liga for a Real Madrid player. In January 2013, Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal; in January 2014, he scored his 400th career goal. He is, in short, a phenomenon. But little is truly known about this great footballer and athlete. Guillem Balague's insightful and revelatory biography casts and illuminating eye on the - officially - greatest footballer on earth.
Guillem Balague is the author of Messi, Barca, Pep Guardiola and A Season on the Brink. A key fixture of Sky Sports' coverage of Spanish football, he appears regularly both on live match coverage and on the weekly round-up show, Revista de la Liga. He is also the UK Correspondent for AS, the Madrid-based Spanish sports newspaper, and El Larguero, Spain's most popular sports radio show. His work appears regularly in The Times and in Champions magazine, where he writes a regular column on international football. http://www.guillembalague.com/en/home https://twitter.com/GuillemBalague https://www.facebook.com/guillembalague