Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps the most celebrated soccer player on the planet. As the star of Real Madrid, who recently won his fifth Ballon d’Or, he’s a fan favorite all over the globe, but how much does the average fan know about the famous Portuguese striker? We’ve got the scoop.
His finances may be shady
The government wants its money! In the summer of 2017, Ronaldo was accused of tax evasion by the Spanish Tax Agency, reported Forbes. The soccer star was accused of misreporting income from 2011 to 2013 and of funneling earnings through offshore companies. If convicted, he could face prison time.
Ronaldo’s legal team insists he’s done nothing wrong. “[Ronaldo] didn’t break any laws, all he did was follow criteria that the tax inspectors don’t like,” his attorney stated after a preliminary hearing in July 2017, according to The Guardian.
Ronaldo has admitted he was not well-versed in Spain’s tax laws. “I do not understand much of this–I have only six years in school, and the only thing I know is to play football well,” he told the court. “And if my advisers tell me, ‘Cris, there is no problem,’ then I believe them. I trust in my advisers, who are the best. I pay them well, so that they do a good job for me, and I leave everything in their hands.”
He's been linked to lots of ladies
Ronaldo may be very happy with Rodriguez, but he’s no stranger to some of Hollywood’s most influential women. The athlete has been linked to dozens of models and starlets and rumors of infidelity continue to dog him.
One of his rumored flames was Paris Hilton, whom he reportedly met at My House nightclub in Los Angeles in 2009. Onlookers told TMZ that Ronaldo was nervous to approach the heiress, but once the pair began chatting, he allegedly couldn’t keep his hands to himself.
By 2010, Ronaldo had moved on to Hilton’s former friend-turned-enemy-turned-friend-again Kim Kardashian. According to The Sun (via the Daily Mail), those two enjoyed a romantic dinner and were caught kissing during the reality starlet’s trip to Spain.
Ronaldo dated high-profile Russian model Irina Shayk for five years, according to the Daily Mail, but she supposedly squashed the relationship “when she found out he’d been secretly messaging girls all over the world.”
Despite looking happy with his current girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, reality star Natacha Rodrigues claims he cheated on his baby mama with her. Rodrigues told The Sun she felt “used” but “being with him was like a dream.”
Fatherhood has changed him
Say what you will about his boyfriend credentials, but it seems Ronaldo is an amazing dad. He’s never far from his son, Cristiano Jr., and his social media feeds are flooded with family pictures. Becoming a father “changed everything,” he said.
“A person who has your blood, it’s unbelievable, it’s a great feeling… My friends ask me if I want more kids and I always say yes, I want more, it’s the best thing you can have in your life,” he said, according to the Irish Mirror.
Ronaldo has not revealed the identity of Cristiano Jr.’s mother. “People speculate I was with this girl or another, or there was a surrogate mother. I have never told anyone and never will,” he said (via the Irish Mirror.) “When Cristiano is grown up I will tell him what I did, what I felt, everything that went through my mind. Some children never get to know their parents, neither mother nor father. Having a father is enough.”
He's truly a family man
Ronaldo’s family tree grew several branches in 2017. In June, he and Rodriguez welcomed twins, a boy and a girl named Mateo and Eva, via a surrogate, reported TMZ.
“So happy to be able to hold the two new loves of my life,” Ronaldo tweeted shortly after their birth.
The father of four includes his kids in his professional pursuits on and off the field. In November 2017, Ronaldo’s oldest, 7-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, Jr., made headlines when he modeled shirtless with his dad in an ad for Ronaldo’s CR7 junior jean collection, reported TMZ.
He 'wanted a different father'
Not much is known about Ronaldo’s father, José Dinis Aveiro, but The Sun reported that Aveiro was a janitor who cleaned up the facility where Ronaldo played as a kid, and that Ronaldo was teased because of his father’s working class job.
Ronaldo’s late father, whom he once called “a solitary person,” was also allegedly an alcoholic, which is one of the reasons the soccer star doesn’t drink. “My father was funny when he was drunk, but I didn’t get to know him for real, from the heart and I don’t know why he drank, maybe he was frustrated with his life,” Ronaldo said (via The Sun.) “I wanted a different father, one who would be more present to see my achievements.”
Aveiro passed away in 2005, but Ronaldo has worked to keep his memory alive, particularly for his kids. In October 2017, he shared an Instagram photo (left) of his infant son, Mateo, eldest son, Cristiano Jr., and baby girl Eva gathered around a portrait of their grandfather. “You will always be with us,” he wrote in Portuguese on the caption.
He had heart surgery at age 15
Ronaldo appears to be the picture of perfect health, but that wasn’t always the case. According to a 2009 interview with theDaily Mail, the soccer great needed heart surgery at age 15.
“His heart raced a lot when he wasn’t running,” Ronaldo’s mom, Dolores, told the tab. “Before we knew exactly what he had, I was worried because there was the possibility of him giving up playing football. But the treatment went well and after some days he was back at training again… It seems the treatment allowed him to run even faster!”
He saved 80 dogs from a shelter
His philanthropy and good charity are often overlooked by his flashy image and passion for sports cars, but with a heart of gold and a stack of cash, it seems there’s nothing Ronaldo can’t do.
According to a 2014 Los Angeles Times profile, when the striker heard a 10-month-old boy’s family was raising money for brain surgery, he not only donated his soccer boots and jersey, but also wrote a check covering the cost of the surgery ($83,000) and offering to pay for follow-up visits.
In 2008, Ronaldo donated the money he won from a libel suit against a British tabloid to a charity in his hometown. He gave another $165,000 to a local hospital to fund a cancer center. “My father always taught me that when you help other people, then God will give you double,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “And that’s what has really happened to me. When I have helped other people who are in need, God has helped me more.”
In 2017, Ronaldo donated a jersey to be auctioned off to help a struggling Portuguese shelter care for about 80 dogs.
He works awful hard on that famous body
Getting a body like Ronaldo’s isn’t easy, but if getting in shape is one of your resolutions, the striker has got a few tips.
According to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo stresses the importance of discipline and steady goals. He says there’s no room for “easing off” and recommends finding a workout partner who’s at a similar level to stay motivated. Sleep is crucial, he said, because muscles repair during sleep periods. Diet is equally important. Ronaldo says he eats six small meals a day. And let’s not underestimate the importance of a good workout mix. Ronaldo reportedly prefers hip-hop and reggaeton.
Last but not least, Ronaldo says to simply “relax.” He adds, “Training and physical sessions are most important, but living a relaxed lifestyle helps you to be the best you can be, physically and mentally. I spend my free time with family and friends, which keeps me relaxed and in a positive mind-set.”
He was accused of rape
Could Ronaldo have an ugly past involving rape? According to a German magazine, per ESPN, he allegedly agreed to pay an accuser $375,000 in 2010 following a rape allegation. The German news outlet claimed to have documents from the out-of-court settlement detailing the alleged incident, which supposedly took place in Las Vegas in 2009.
Ronaldo’s management company, Gestifute, issued a statement blowing off the entire story. “The article is nothing but a piece of journalistic fiction,” the statement said, in part. “The alleged victim refuses to come forward and confirm the veracity of the accusation. The newspaper has based their entire narrative on documents which are unsigned and where the parties are not identified, on emails between lawyers whose content does not concern Cristiano Ronaldo and whose authenticity he cannot verify, and on an alleged letter that is said to have been sent to him by the so-called victim, but was never received by Cristiano.”
The company also called the accusations “disgusting” and “outraging,” insisting that Ronaldo will not allow the story to damage his reputation.