Born in Sao Pedro, Funchal, a small Portuguese island in Madeira, Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential was spotted quite early in his career.
After honing his skills with local clubs like Andorinha and Nacional in his formative years, Ronaldo went for a three-day trial with Sporting CP in 1997 and the Portuguese outfit wasted no time in signing him for £1,500.
By the age of 18, Cristiano Ronaldo made his senior team debut for Sporting CP and was already a hot prospect in Europe. He was linked to the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, but Ronaldo moved to Manchester United in 2003 for a reported £12.24 million fee.
Cristiano Ronaldo would go on to spend six successful seasons with Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson and won three Premier League titles, two Football League Cups, one FA Cup and one UEFA Champions League.
He was United’s top-scorer in the 2007-08 season and won the first of his five Ballon d’Ors.
Following his successes at United, his stock continued to rise in the football world. Consequently, Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, spending a then world record £80 million for the Portuguese, making him the most expensive signing at the time.
Ronaldo took no time to settle in as he scored 33 goals in his debut season in La Liga. Nine seasons, four UEFA Champions League titles, four Ballon d’Ors, and two La Liga titles later, Ronaldo decided to embark on a new challenge.
The forward scored a whopping 450 goals for Real Madrid and left the club as their all-time leading scorer. His latest adventure though would take him to Italy where Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus for a reported €100 million fee in 2018.
Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Ronaldo guided Juventus to two back-to-back Serie A titles. In 134 appearances for the Turin club, Ronaldo scored 101 goals.
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On August 27, 2021, Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United on a two-year deal. United paid a reported €25m transfer fee to Juventus for his signature.
"Manchester United has reached an agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical," read an official statement from Manchester United.
Since making his senior team debut with Sporting CP in 2002, Ronaldo has gone on to score a whopping 674 goals in his club career. The 36-year-old has won five Ballon d’Ors, five UEFA Champions League titles and the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award twice (2016, 2017).
Cristiano Ronaldo’s teams
Featured photo: AFP / Andrew Yates