Cristiano Ronaldo is not only one of the best professional soccer players in the world but also one of the greatest players of all time. He’s the first player in the history of the sport to win four European Golden Shoes. He also holds the record for the most official goals scored in the top five European leagues, the UEFA Champions League, and the UEFA European Championship. Totaling, to date, more than 600 career goals. But before Ronaldo became a household name, he lived a modest life on a small island off the coast of Portugal.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Early Life
Ronaldo grew up in a working class neighborhood. His mother was a cook and maid, and his father worked a number of odd jobs while struggling with alcoholism. Despite his challenging relationship with his father because of his substance abuse issues, Ronaldo credits his dad for first introducing him to soccer. His dad was working as an equipment manager at a boy’s club, which gave Ronaldo a chance to play. His fascination with the sport was instant, and he and his ball became inseparable.
By the time he was a teenager, people started noticing his talent. In 2001, at the age of sixteen, he signed a contract with Sporting Portugal. Later that year, during a match against Manchester United, Ronaldo caught the attention of the world. Just two years later, Manchester United signed him to a £12 million contract. This set a new record for a player of just eighteen years of age.
Within his first season, he helped Manchester United win the FA Cup finals, scoring three goals. He continued playing with the team for the next four years, closing out his final season in 2008 with a bang. He set a franchise record for goals scored – a whopping 42 to be exact. Ronaldo also received the FIFA World Player of the Year award for his performance.
In 2009, Ronaldo received an offer he couldn’t refuse. Real Madrid presented him with a $131 million contract – a record for any player in the sport. He continues to play for Real Madrid to this day, as well as for his national team. In 2016, he led his country to victory as the team captain. They won the European Championship for Portugal for the first time. Despite all of his other accomplishments, Ronaldo marks this as one of the proudest moments in his career.
In the midst of shattering records and garnering countless accolades, Ronaldo received another offer in 2014: to join TAG Heuer as an ambassador. When the brand rebooted their “Don’t crack under pressure” campaign in 2014, they needed the right set of ambassadors to embody the spirit. Ronaldo’s prolific goal scoring skills made him the perfect match. Typically, you can find him wearing a sporty style, like an Aquaracer, but he also worked with the brand to design his own special model.
TAG Heuer launched Ronaldo’s limited edition timepiece at the legendary Baselworld exhibition in 2015. The Formula 1 Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 is based on the brand’s standard Formula 1 Chronograph. The model features a unique green color scheme in honor of the lush hue of the football pitch, or field. It’s also marked with CR7 both on the watch face and within a soccer ball on the caseback. It’s a fitting model for one of the greatest soccer players of all time.