Cristiano Ronaldo was the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. In 2008, Ronaldo won the Champions League with United, was named best forward and player of the tournament and was the competition's top goalscorer as well as winning the European Golden Shoe, becoming the first winger to do so, and topping the Premier League Golden Boot award. He won three of the four main PFA and FWA trophies, only missing the PFA Young Player of the Year, and was named the FIFPro, World Soccer and Onze d'Or Footballer of the Year and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or winner in 40 years. Ronaldo holds the distinction of being the first player to win the FIFA Puskás Award, an honour handed by FIFA to the best goal of the year. He scored that goal from 40 yards out against FC Porto in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final match, while playing for Manchester United. Three-time Ballon d'Or winner Johan Cruyff said in an interview on 2 April 2008, "Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United."
On 15 May 2011, Cristiano Ronaldo became the highest goalscorer in a season in the history of Real Madrid with 51 goals, surpassing the club's previous high of 49 by Ferenc Puskás. He would later finish the season with a total of 53 goals, making him the first Real Madrid player to ever reach and surpass 50 goals in a season. Six days later, Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record of most goals ever scored in a season in La Liga with 40, surpassing Telmo Zarra's mark established in 1951 and Hugo Sanchez's mark matched in 1990. Ronaldo also broke Zarra's record of most goals per minute, with a goal scored every 70.7 minutes. The newspaper Marca, the official deliverer of the Pichichi Trophy (the top La Liga goalscorer award), claimed that Ronaldo scored 41 goals. By doing so, he won the European Golden Shoe award once again, becoming the first player to win the trophy in two different championships.
Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Santo António, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener. His second given name "Ronaldo" was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favourite actor. He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia. His great-grandmother Isabel da Piedade was from Cape Verde.
At the age of eight, Cristiano Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man. In 1995, Ronaldo signed with local club Nacional, and, after a title-winning campaign, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Sporting's other youth players who trained at the Academia Sporting, the club's football academy, in Alcochete. He became the only player ever to play for Sporting's under-16, under-17, under-18, B-team, and the first team, all within one season. He scored two goals in his league debut on 7 October 2002, which Sporting CP won 3–0 against Moreirense, while featuring for Portugal in the 2002 European Under-17 Championship.
At the age of 15 Cristiano Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that might have forced him to give up playing football. The Sporting staff were made aware of the condition and Ronaldo's mother gave her authorisation for him to go into hospital. While there, he had an operation in which a laser was used to cauterise the area of his heart that was causing the problem. The surgery took place in the morning and Ronaldo was discharged from hospital by the end of the afternoon; he resumed training only a few days later.
In November 2002, Cristiano Ronaldo was invited to Arsenal's training ground, London Colney to meet manager Arsène Wenger and his coaching staff. Wenger, who was interested in signing the midfielder had arranged to meet Ronaldo's representatives, Formation (who suggested the player originally to Gérard Houllier, then Liverpool's manager) in the subsequent months to discuss a transfer arrangement. However he came to the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting defeated United 3–1 in the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Ronaldo's performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him.
Cristiano Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for €15 million (£12.24 million) after the 2002–03 season. He requested the number 28 (his number at Sporting), as he did not want the pressure of living up to the expectation linked to the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by players such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham. "After I joined, the manager asked me what number I'd like. 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."
Cristiano Ronaldo made his team debut as a 60th-minute substitute in a 4–0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers. He scored his first goal for Manchester United with a free kick in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November 2003. Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United's 3–0 FA Cup final victory over Millwall.
He scored United's 1000th Premier League goal on 29 October 2005 in a 4–1 loss to Middlesbrough. He scored ten goals in all competitions, and fans voted him to his first FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award in 2005.
He was sent off in the Manchester derby at the City of Manchester Stadium on 14 January 2006 (a game which United lost 3–1) for kicking City's former United player Andrew Cole.
Cristiano Ronaldo won his second trophy in English football in the 2005–06 season, scoring the third goal in Manchester United's 4–0 Football League Cup final victory over Wigan Athletic.
The 2006–2007 season proved to be the breakout year for Ronaldo, as he broke the 20 goal barrier for the first time and picked up his first league title with Manchester United.
In November and December 2006, Cristiano Ronaldo received consecutive Barclays Player of the Month honours, becoming only the third player in Premier League history to do so after Dennis Bergkamp in 1997 and Robbie Fowler in 1996. He scored his 50th Manchester United goal against city rivals Manchester City on 5 May 2007 as United claimed their first Premier League title in four years, and he was voted into his second consecutive FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award at the end of the year.
Despite rumours circulating in March 2007 that Real Madrid were willing to pay an unprecedented €80 million (£54 million) for Ronaldo, he signed a five-year, £120,000-a-week (£31 million total) extension with United on 13 April, making him the highest-paid player in team history.
Cristiano Ronaldo amassed a host of personal awards for the season. He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards, joining Andy Gray (in 1977) as the only players to receive this honour. In April, he completed the treble by winning the PFA Fans' Player of the Year. Ronaldo was also one of eight Manchester United players named in the 2006–07 PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
Ronaldo's 2007–08 season began with a red card for a headbutt on Portsmouth player Richard Hughes during United's second match of the season, for which he was punished with a three-match ban. Ronaldo said he had "learned a lot" from the experience and would not let players "provoke" him in the future. After scoring the only goal in a Champions League away match against Sporting, Ronaldo also scored the injury-time winner in the return fixture as Manchester United topped their Champions League group.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first hat trick for Manchester United in a 6–0 win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on 12 January 2008, bringing Manchester United up to the top of the Premier League table. He scored his twenty-third league goal of the season in a 2–0 win against Reading, equalling his entire total for the 2006–07 season. During a 1–1 Champions League first knockout round draw against Lyon on 20 February, an unidentified Lyon supporter continuously aimed a green laser at Ronaldo and United teammate Nani, prompting an investigation by UEFA. One month later, Lyon were fined CHF5,000 (£2,427) for the incident.
On 19 March 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo captained United for the first time in his career in a home win over Bolton, scoring both goals in the 2–0 victory. The second of the goals was his 33rd of the campaign, which set a new club single-season scoring record by a midfielder and thus topped George Best's forty-year-old total of 32 goals in the 1967–68 season. Ronaldo scored another brace in a 4–0 win over Aston Villa on 29 March, which at the time gave him 35 goals in 37 domestic and European matches as both a starter and substitute. Ronaldo's scoring streak was rewarded with his becoming the first winger to win the 2007–08 European Golden Shoe, finishing eight points ahead of Mallorca's Dani Güiza.
In the 2007–08 Champions League final on 21 May against league rivals Chelsea, Ronaldo scored the opening goal after 26 minutes, which was negated by a Chelsea equaliser in the 45th minute as the match ended 1–1 after extra time. His misfire in the penalty shoot-out put Chelsea in position to win the trophy, but John Terry shot wide right after slipping on the pitch surface, and Manchester United emerged victorious 6–5 on penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo was named the UEFA Fans' Man of the Match, and wrapped up the campaign with a career-high 42 goals in all competitions, falling four short of Denis Law's team-record mark of 46 in the 1963–64 season.
On 5 June 2008, Sky Sports reported that Cristiano Ronaldo had expressed an interest in moving to Real Madrid if they offered him the same amount of money the team had allegedly promised him earlier in the year. Manchester United filed a tampering complaint with FIFA on 9 June over Madrid's alleged pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo , but FIFA declined to take any action. Speculation that a transfer would happen continued until 6 August, when Ronaldo confirmed that he would stay at United for at least another year.
Cristiano Ronaldo underwent ankle surgery at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam on 7 July. He returned to action on 17 September in United's UEFA Champions League goalless group-stage draw with Villarreal as a substitute for Park Ji-Sung, and scored his first overall goal of the season in a 3–1 League Cup third round win over Middlesbrough on 24 September.
In a 5–0 win over Stoke City on 15 November 2008, Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st goals in all competitions for Manchester United, both from free kicks. The goals also meant that Ronaldo had now scored against each of the other 19 teams in the Premier League at the time. On 2 December, Ronaldo became Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or recipient since George Best in 1968. He finished with 446 points, 165 ahead of runner-up Lionel Messi. He was awarded the Silver Ball after finishing with two goals as United won the Club World Cup on 19 December.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal of the season, and first since the final against Chelsea, in a 2–0 victory over Internazionale that sent United into the quarter-finals. In the second leg against Porto, Ronaldo scored a 40-yard game-winning goal as United advanced to the semi-finals. He later called it the best goal he had ever scored. Ronaldo participated in his second consecutive Champions League final, but made little impact in United's 2–0 loss to Barcelona. He finished with 53 appearances in all competitions, which was four higher than the previous year, but scored sixteen fewer goals (26) than his career-best total of 42 from the previous season.
On 11 June, Manchester United accepted an unconditional offer of £80 million from Real Madrid for Ronaldo after it was revealed that he again had expressed his desire to leave the club. It was confirmed by a representative of the Glazer family that the sale was fully condoned by Ferguson. When Ronaldo had eventually completed his transfer to Real, he expressed his gratitude towards Ferguson for helping him develop as a player, saying, "He's been my father in sport, one of the most important factors and most influential in my career."
On 26 June 2009, Real Madrid confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo would join the club on 1 July 2009 from Manchester United for £80 million, after agreeing terms and signing a six-year contract. Ronaldo's contract is worth €11 million per year and it has a €1 billion buy-out clause. He was presented to the world media as a Real Madrid player on 6 July, where he was handed the number 9 jersey. The shirt was presented to him by Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano. Ronaldo was welcomed by 80,000 fans at his presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, surpassing Diego Maradona's record of 75,000 fans when he was presented in Italy, after he was transferred from Barcelona to Napoli in 1984.
An ankle injury suffered on 10 October, while Cristiano Ronaldo was on international duty with Portugal against Hungary, kept him out until 25 November, which in turn caused him to miss both of Madrid's Champions League group stage matches against Milan. Ronaldo made his first post-injury start in a 1–0 El Clásico defeat to Barcelona on 29 November. On 6 December, he was sent off for the first time in his Madrid career in Madrid's 4–2 victory against Almería, a match which also saw him miss a penalty. He was carded first for removing his shirt during a goal celebration, then for kicking out at an opponent three minutes later. On 5 May 2010 Ronaldo scored his first Real Madrid hat-trick in an away game against Mallorca. Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuaín scored 53 league goals during the course of the season and became Real's highest scoring league duo in their history.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid against Gareth Bale and Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League.
With the departure of Raúl during the summer of 2010, Ronaldo was handed the No. 7 jersey for Real Madrid. On 23 October 2010, Ronaldo scored four goals against Racing de Santander, the most goals he has ever scored in a single match. This completed a goalscoring run of six consecutive matches (three in La Liga, one in the Champions League, and two for Portugal) in which Ronaldo scored in each match, totalling 11 goals, which is the most Ronaldo has scored in a single month. Before Real Madrid's 5–0 defeat by Barcelona at the Camp Nou, Ronaldo scored his second La Liga hat-trick of the season in a 5–1 win over Athletic Bilbao. His final match of the calendar year saw him score a hat-trick in a 8–0 trashing of Levante in the Copa del Rey.
Cristiano Ronaldo began the 2011 with a very promising outlook, especially after Real Madrid acknowledged he had broken numerous goalscoring records, previously settled and held by classic players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano, Hugo Sánchez, and Manuel Alday. Ronaldo began his scoring spree by scoring two vital goals in a tight 3–2 victory away to Getafe. He then consolidated his massive performances by scoring a hat-trick and assisting Kaká to score his first league goal after his return from injury, in a 4–2 victory over Villarreal on 9 January. One game away from the middle of the season, Ronaldo had a very clear chance of breaking Telmo Zarra's and Hugo Sánchez's record of 38 League goals in a single season, since he was the league's top scorer with 22 goals, above Lionel Messi. However, shortly after, Ronaldo experienced the biggest goal drought in his entire career, scoring only 2 goals in more than a month. During this period, Real Madrid acknowledged to have hit the crossbar more than 12 times in the season, most of the shots belonging to Ronaldo and almost all having happened during crucial moments in drawn matches. Ronaldo then made a massive comeback by scoring a hat-trick in a 7–0 trashing of Málaga on 3 March 2011, but was affected by a muscle injury at the end of the match, which forced him to spend 10 days on the sidelines.
During the second league edition of El Clásico, Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot and took his tally to 41 goals, also taking his scoring streak to four games. On 20 April, Ronaldo scored the winning goal against Barcelona in the 103rd minute of the Copa del Rey final. This goal would later be chosen as both Ronaldo's and Real Madrid's best goal in the season by several fan polls, including those of Marca and Real Madrid's website. 7 May saw Real travel to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán to take on Sevilla, where Ronaldo led the thrashing of a woeful Andalusian side, scoring four goals in a 6–2 victory. These four goals took him to 46 for the season which surpassed his previous record of 42 in a season playing for Manchester United. Three days later he reached 49 goals for the season, by scoring another hat-trick in a 4–0 home win against Getafe. On 15 May, after scoring two free-kick goals in a 3–1 win over Villarreal, he equalled the La Liga record with most goals in a season with 38, a record previously held by Telmo Zarra and Hugo Sánchez.
On 21 May, he scored two goals in the last league match of the season against Almería, taking his Pichichi total to 41, and La Liga total to 40, becoming the first and only player to score 40 or more goals in a La Liga season. By doing this, he won the European Golden Shoe award once again, becoming the first player to win the trophy in two different leagues. The sports newspaper Marca, who awards the Pichichi Trophy, included the goal scored on 18 September 2010 to Real Sociedad in Ronaldo's goal count, which officially attributed to Pepe. Should this goal be granted to Ronaldo, his goal count in the Pichichi Trophy would tally 41 goals. However, careless of this goal polemic, Ronaldo's record-breaking figures became a source of major attention from public media, something that granted Ronaldo awards like Sports Illustrated XI, rating him as one of the world's best footballers. Accounting for all competitions, Ronaldo ended the season with a total of 53 goals (not granting him the controversy goal from Pepe), having scored 25 goals with his right foot (excluding free-kicks and penalty-kicks) and 9 with his left foot.
Real Madrid's pre-season began with a 4–1 victory over MLS team Los Angeles Galaxy, with goals from Callejón, Joselu, Ronaldo, and Benzema. Four days later Ronaldo scored a second half hat-trick in a 3–0 win against Guadalajara. Ronaldo's preseason performance was highly praised as world media kept hailing Ronaldo's extreme competitiveness and motivation, even during friendly matches. On August 17, 2011, Ronaldo scored his 100th goal with Real Madrid with a first-half equalizer against Barcelona in the second leg of the 2011 Spanish Supercup in the Camp Nou. On August 27, 2011, he opened the 2011–12 La Liga season with a hat-trick in a 6–0 win at Real Zaragoza.