Ronaldo, who was born and bred in Madeira, began his senior club career with Sporting CP before joining Manchester United in 2003 at the age of 18 and winning the FA Cup in his first season. He went on to win three Premier League titles in a row, the Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup, and he earned his first Ballon d'Or at the age of 23. When Ronaldo arrived for Real Madrid in 2009 for €94 million (£80 million), he became the club's all-time best goalscorer and won 15 trophies, including two La Liga crowns, two Copa del Rey titles, and four Champions Leagues.
He also came in second place three times for the Ballon d'Or, behind Lionel Messi (his apparent career rival), and won back-to-back Ballons d'Or in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017. Ronaldo joined Juventus in a €100 million (£88 million) transfer in 2018, making it the most expensive transfer for an Italian club and the most expensive transfer for a player over 30 years old. Before returning to Manchester United in 2021, he won two Serie A titles, two Supercoppe Italiana, and a Coppa Italia.
He made his senior international debut for Portugal when he was 18 years old in 2003, and has since amassed over 170 caps, becoming him the country's most-capped player. He is also the country's all-time leading striker, having scored more than 100 goals at the international level. He has appeared in 11 major tournaments and scored 11 goals; his first international goal came in Euro 2004, when he helped Portugal reach the final. In July 2008, he became the full captain of the national team.
The Portuguese Football Federation named Ronaldo as the greatest Portuguese player of all time in 2015. He won the Silver Boot as the tournament's second-highest goalscorer the following year, leading Portugal to their first major tournament title at Euro 2016. In 2019, he also led them to triumph in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, and he went on to win the Golden Boot as the top scorer at Euro 2020.
Ronaldo was named the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world's most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019. He is one of the most marketable and well-known athletes in the world. In 2014, he was named to Time's list of the world's 100 most influential people. He is the first footballer and just the third athlete in history to earn a billion dollars in his career.
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