A balmy afternoon in Brazil, a field full of bright lights and hope, and an air of tense competition laced with the yearning desire for sweet victory have come to a standstill for one young man. His sweat soaked face and shiny, dark hair are coupled with muscles that seem to be etched of marble. A fierce athlete wrapped in the body of a Calvin Klein model, he embarks on another record breaking season. But a look of pure determination and confidence are emanating from 29 year old Portugal soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo as he pushes through knee injuries in order to continue playing in The World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
The forward (#7) for team Real Madrid and the Portugal National Team easily breaks hearts and records with his intensity and commanding attitude toward the game. He was the youngest player to be signed by Manchester United at age 16 when he displayed a broad range of footwork and skill that wowed viewers. They signed him for a record breaking £12 million for five years, to which he didn’t disappoint.
“All he wanted to do as a boy was play football,” his godfather, Fernao Sousa, recalled to biography.com, “He loved the game so much he’d miss meals or escape out of his bedroom window with a ball when he was supposed to be doing his homework.”
Ronaldo’s humble beginnings included three older siblings, a steadfast mother and an alcoholic father, who eventually died of related kidney problems. Ronaldo’s incredible ethic for single-handedly changing the game of soccer stemmed from deep rooted passion for change. His father worked as a gardener for a fancy boys sports club, and once Ronaldo laid eyes on the fast paced sport, he was hooked. Destiny stepped in and swept Ronaldo away to a land of opportunity: a world of fun and power that would challenge him physically and mentally.
Ronaldo is often regarded walking the line between confidence and arrogance, but for valid reasons. He helped Manchester United win three league titles in 2008 and set record breaking goalscoring. The powerhouse moves on the field as gracefully as a ballerina twirling through a rigorous three act performance. His skills are unbounded and ultimately genius.
Even if his image is a bit rough due to his demeanor of visible frustration on the field, Ronaldo just wants to let his fans know how seriously he takes the sport. “Maybe sometimes, I agree that I have a bad image on the pitch because I’m too serious…I learn by my mistakes and that’s life. You know, sometimes I’m a victim of that because they don’t know the real Cristiano,” he said in a CNN interview in 2012.
The fierce forward prefers a little mystery as it is. He dazzles on the field projecting every emotion felt, but likes to distance himself from other issues. Perhaps it was his struggle with urging his father to enter rehab and address his drinking habits before he passed away, or his mother’s stint with breast cancer in 2007, that Ronaldo keeps personal matters from much public commentary.
Keenly opting to make the most of his talent, Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009 to sign with Real Madrid. The team reportedly paid $131 million to have the young phenom and all his dexterity on the field. He has snagged the FIFA World Player Award as well as UEFA Club Forward of the Year during his budding career.
A recent loss to Germany may have slowed Portugal down as far as the World Cup is concerned, but Ronaldo remains stoic and involved despite a recurring knee injury, and hopes to see a win over USA in the following days.
A true champion with a knack for overcoming defeat, the superstar, who is always improving the soccer field, is also making ice packs permanently attached to knees seem sexy. Even in injury, he seemingly screams, “Bring it on, world!” as he kicks away the pain.