Cristiano Ronaldo is known across the globe as a Portuguese footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team. He became the most expensive footballer in history when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth over '80 million. Ronaldo's contract with Real Madrid, under the terms of which he is paid ?21 million per year (after taxes), makes him the highest-paid footballer in the world, and his buy-out clause is valued at ?1 billion as per his contract.
Born in Funchal, Madeira in 1985, and as early as 1997 he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Ronaldo caught the attention of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him for '12.24 million (?15 million) in 2003. He wore the number 7 shirt which was previously worn by George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
Ronaldo was the first player playing in England to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. In 2008 and 2013, Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or award for the best footballer on the planet, being the first ever Portuguese to win the award twice.
He is the first top European league player to reach 40 goals in a single season in two consecutive years, fastest Real Madrid player to reach 100 league goals, and the first player ever to score against every team in a single season in La Liga. He also holds records for the most goals scored in a season for Real Madrid and most goals scored per minute in La Liga for a Real Madrid player. In January 2013, Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal; in January 2014, he scored his 400th career goal.
He is, in short, a phenomenon.
But little is truly known about this great footballer and athlete. Guillem Balague's insightful and revelatory biography casts and illuminating eye on the - officially - greatest footballer on earth.