Cristiano Ronaldo made the first acquaintance of his great passion for football at the age of three. At the age of eight Cristiano began his football career with the Portuguese amateur club CF Andorinha.
By his early teens, Ronaldo's talent and legend had grown noticeably. After a stint with Nacional da liha da Madeira, he signed with Sporting Portugal in 2001. That same year, at the tender age of 16, Ronaldo turned heads with a mesmerizing performance against Manchester United, wowing even his opponents with his footwork and deft skill. He made such an impression that a number of United players asked their manager to try and sign the young player. It wasn't long before the club paid Ronaldo's team more than £12 million for his services - a record fee for a player of his age.
Ronaldo did not disappoint the football world. He showed his promise early on in the 2004 FA Cup final, scoring the team's first three goals and helping them capture the championship. In 2008, a year after signing a five-year, £31 million contract, Ronaldo again justified his high salary when he put together one of the club's finest seasons in history, setting a franchise record for goals scored (42), and earning himself the FIFA World of the Year honour. In all, Ronaldo helped steer Manchester United to three premier league titles.
In 2009, Spanish football club Real Madrid agreed to pay United a record $131 million for the chance to sign him, and Ronaldo left United.
Following his FIFA World Player of the year award, Ronaldo went on to compile an impressive list of individual honours and team trophies. On July 10, 2016, he added another emotional victory to his collection, leading Portugal to the European Championship final against France as his national team's captain. Ronaldo's teammates said that he motivated them as team captain from the side-lines. "He gave us a lot of confidence and he said, 'Listen people, I'm sure we will win this Euro so stay together and fight for it,’” full-back Cedric Soares said after Portugal’s victory.
In January 2017, Ronaldo won FIFA's 2016 best player of the year for the fourth time, beating out FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Ronaldo’s 2016 wins included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual awards from UEFA and France Football magazine, according to USA Today. In his acceptance speech, Ronaldo said: "2016 was the best year of my career."