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Cristiano Ronaldo is a world class footballer, adored by millions… yet behind this journey is the human struggle of faith, hope and true determination.

Come with us as we scramble behind the glamour and return back to his roots where everything began.

Elma Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo‘s oldest sister in her Boutique called CR7 (stands for Cristiano Ronaldo number 7) in Madeira.

She is 11 years older than Ronaldo. While both their parents had to work all the time, she was looking after Ronaldo like his mum. After he started earning loads of money, he asked Elma what she would like to do for a living. She told him that she was always interested in fashion and her dream was to own a boutique. Ronaldo made her dream come true.

Jose Dinis Pereira Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo‘s father. He died on 06 Sep 2005 from a chronic liver condition.

Maria Dolores Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo‘s mother: “I went through tough times in the past. But now, I can proudly say that I am the happiest mother on earth.”

Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Madeira Island, Portugal on 5 February 1985. He grew up in San Antonio, which is a fairly poor area in the island. Where the weeds (foreground) are is where the house he was brought up used to be.

After he came to fame, although no one had lived there for a long time, so many tourists and journalists from all over the world started coming to visit that in 2007 the city council decided to demolish it.

Pedro Talhinhas, a football coach for C.D. Nacional. He said: Ronaldo hates to compromise and give up. That is why he cries when he loses. Seeing him cry on TV when he loses a big match reminds me of his childhood. Nothing has changed.”

The best of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s football skills come from the street. This street is right in front of the house where he was brought up. This is where his football career began. He played football on this rough slope. And he always played until late so that his mother or sisters often had to come out and call him back home.

Paulo Cardoso, a scout and coach for Sporting CP. He recalls Ronaldo was not only physically great but also had great mental strength. During the entry test match, Ronaldo was relaxed enough to make other players at ease.

Aurelio Pereira, Chief scout of Sporting CP (Lisbon), where Cristiano Ronaldo played  from 19972001.
Ronaldo left Madeira Island and came to Lisbon for an entry test to Sporting CP when he was 12. Normally only players who are 14yrs old or over are eligible.  His skills were way more than good enough to make Aurelio convince the top of the team that he would definitely be worth the money.

Joao Manuel Gris Teixeira is the vice-chairman of C.D. Nacional, where Cristiano Ronaldo played from 19951997.
He prefers to be recognized as a Madeirense rather than a Portuguese.

The team office of C.F. Andorinha. Cristiano Ronaldo‘s father Dinis, who died in 2005, used to work as their groundskeeper.
He was said to be an alcoholic and not a very good father but always encouraged Ronaldo, and would bring cake home when Ronaldo scored.

Clemente, a cab driver for more than 30 years in Madeira, has never lived anywhere else than San Antonio where Cristiano Ronaldo was born and brought up.

C.D. Nacional‘s gym. Ronaldo‘ photos are printed on the wooden walls of the gym.
The team now has a newly built stadium, accommodation for players and a practice pitch called “Cristiano Ronaldo Campus“.

Kids play football in San Antonio, Madeira. All the kids in Madeira are proud of Cristiano Ronaldo, admire him and want to be like him.

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s godfather, Jose Fernao Barros de Sousa, in front of San Antonio Church where he baptized Ronaldo.

Jose Fernao was once a professional football player for C.D. Nacional. After he retired, he played for Andorinha. That is where he met Ronaldo‘s father Dinis. After he completely retired, he worked as a scout for junior players for C.D. Nacional.

Once he was told that there was a super junior player in Andorinha and was sent to check him out. The boy turned out to be Ronaldo. That was 10 years after Jose Fernao had baptized him!


Source: Keita Yasukawa


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