Born on 5th February 1985, legendary Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is celebrating his 39th birthday today.
He made his professional debut at the age of 16 in 2003 with Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, fast forward to 2024, 21 years later, he is still dominating the football world.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner finished the year 2023 as the top-scorer with 54 goals, ahead of the likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane.
On Ronaldo’s 39th birthday, here is a look at some stunning facts about the European champion.
1. Interest from Liverpool, Arsenal
Ronaldo announced himself to the world during a pre-season friendly with Manchester United in 2003, who ultimately roped him just a few days later. However, there was a strong interest from Liverpool and Arsenal for the Portuguese prodigy. The Reds then manager admitted that they couldn’t sign Ronaldo due to his wage demands.
2. The CR7 Galaxy
In 2015, a galaxy was discovered by a group of astronomers led by David Sobral, who named it Cosmos Redshift 7, CR7, Ronaldo’s acronym. The researchers confirmed that naming the galaxy wasn’t a coincidence but they did name it after the Portuguese.
3. Course in a University
A Canadian university, the University of British Columbia Okanagan started offering their Sociology students a course on Cristiano Ronaldo’s life in 2015.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo Airport
In 2016, the Portuguese government announced that they were renaming the Madeira Airport to the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport. And in 2017, the rebranded terminal was officially unveiled.
5. Sold Ballon d’Or for charity
Ronaldo is one of the very few footballers in the world who doesn’t have a tattoo nor does he drink, that is due to his involvement in social work and blood donation programs. Similarly, he is a well-known philanthropist. In 2017, the Portuguese sold the replica of one of his Ballon d’Or to make a whopping £600,000 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Other than that, Ronaldo is the player with the most international caps (205) while also scoring 128 goals for Portugal. He is also the top scorer (140) in the UEFA Champions League.
It is worth noting that Ronaldo has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus where he created history and became a legend in little to no time.
Ronaldo played 438 matches with Madrid where he scored a whopping amount of 450 goals, a record that is likely to remain unbeaten, and provided 131 assists.
With Man United, across his two stints, the forward scored 145 goals and provided 64 assists.
In his 21-year-long career, Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or five times and clinched the UEFA Champions League many times as well.