Who: Cristiano Ronaldo
What: Portuguese football player
Where: Born Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Why: One of the most gifted footballers of his generation
When: Born February 5, 1985
“Maybe they hate me because I’m too good.” – Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most gifted footballers of his generation. Starting his footballing career aged eight for amateur team Andorina, he signed with local club Nacional aged ten, and after a title-winning campaign and a trial, moved to Sporting CP for an undisclosed sum. After rising through the ranks of Sporting’s youth system, he began to be noticed further abroad, and was invited to Arsenal’s training ground to meet Arsène Wenger in November 2002. However, when Sporting defeated Manchester United 3-1 in the summer of 2003, Ronaldo’s performance moved Alex Ferguson, with some persuasion from his players, to sign him. Ronaldo played for Manchester United for six years, scoring 84 goals in 196 appearances, before signing for Real Madrid for a record fee of £80million (€94 million). As of January 2014, he has scored 167 goals in 154 appearances for Madrid, being the first player of score against every team in a single season in La Liga, the first player to score 20 away goals and the first player to score in six consecutive Clásicos amongst other astounding records. He is captain of the Portugal national football team and joint-top scorer. He has attained numerous honours, including being made a Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry, and was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2013.