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Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional soccer player who plays as a forward for the Spanish football club Real Madrid and the current captain of the Portugal national football team. Ronaldo is the highest-paid football player in the world, and along with the Argentinian midfielder Lionel Messi, he is widely regarded as one of the two best players in the world within his generation. Due to his international stardom and scandalous reputation off the field, Ronaldo commands one of the biggest fan bases, as well as anti-fans, in online football communities.
Ronaldo began playing soccer at the age of eight for the amateur team Andorinha. In 2003, Ronaldo was signed by Manchester United as their first Portuguese player for a sum of €15 million. In June 2009, Real Madrid announced Ronaldo would be joining the Spanish football club the following month for €94 million, which broke the record for the most expensive footballer transfer in history.
On October 23rd, 2005, the Cristiano Ronaldo YouTube channel was launched, which highlights notable videos of Ronaldo. In nine years, the channel garnered over 15 million video views and 235,000 subscribers. On May 11th, 2009, YouTuber Canale di czitus uploaded a video in which Ronaldo appears to react with disgust after seeing a Manchester United teammate’s erection (shown below). In the next five years, the video gained more than 950,000 views and 660 comments.
On October 4th, Redditor banned_from_all_subs posted an animated GIF of Ronaldo mouthing the word “injustica” (injustice) incorrectly captioned with the phrase “the jews did this” to the /r/gif subreddit, where it received upwards of 820 points and 30 comments prior to being archived (shown below).
On January 3rd, 2013, YouTuber 7ManuelRodriguez uploaded a montage of Ronaldo’s on field fights, which gained more than 28.4 million views and 19,800 comments in the next two years (shown below).
On February 16th, the International Business Times highlighted several notable photoshops of Ronaldo jumping to perform a header soccer move (shown below, left). On December 11th, Redditor MarshallMx submitted a photo of Ronaldo jumping to reach a ball in mid-air to the /r/soccer subreddit, where it received upwards of 2,800 points and 560 comments prior to being archived (shown below, right).
On March 14th, 2014, Redditor Comicgeek1980 submitted an image macro praising Ronaldo for funding a child’s brain operation to /r/AdviceAnimals (shown below, left). Within three months, the post accumulated more than 3,400 points and 1,400 comments. On May 5th, the football news blog 101 Great Goals highlighted several image macros praising Ronaldo for his performance during a football match between Real Madrid and Valencia (shown below, right).
Social Media Feeds
On May 6th, 2009, a verified Facebook page for Ronaldo was launched, which gathered upwards of 87 million likes over the next five years. In June 2010, Ronaldo joined Twitter, where he received more than 27.2 million followers within two years. On October 31st, 2012, Ronaldo created a feed on Instagram, earning over 5.79 million followers in two years.
2014 FIFA World Cup
On June 22nd, 2014, the United States competed against Portugal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, during which Ronaldo performed an assist for a game-tying goal with only 30 seconds left in the match. That day, BuzzFeed highlighted several notable tweets reacting to the goal.
Damn you Ronaldo and your perfect face, hair and body— Erik Negley (@enegs_5) June 23, 2014
Also on June 22nd, Twitter user @naptimedoe tweeted a screenshot of a USA Today Sports article from March 12th about Ronaldo paying for a child’s brain surgery, claiming that he had cut his hair to match the scar of the child. The following day, The Daily Dot published an article questioning the tweets authenticity, noting that Ronaldo had not verified the haircut inspiration claim in public.
Ronaldo is widely considered one of the best football players in the world and is often compared to Argentine footballer Lionel Messi. Earlier in his career, Ronaldo earned a reputation for being arrogant on the field, which he later admitted may have prevented him from gaining more fans around the world. In 2011, Ronaldo was quoted saying “People are jealous of me as I am young handsome and rich” following a Champions League game during which he was tackled several times. In 2014, he apologized for the remark.
Ronaldo was born on February 5th, 1985 in Santo António, Portugal and was named after former United States president Ronald Reagan. In October 2005, Ronaldo was arrested for allegedly raping a woman in London. The following month, Scotland Yard dropped the charges based on insufficient evidence. In July 2010, Ronaldo announced he had become a father and that he had retained full custody of the child.