Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɾɨʃˈtiɐnu ʁuˈnaɫdu]; born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a winger for English Premier League club Manchester United and as captain for the Portuguese national team. In June 2009, Manchester United accepted an £80 million (€94m, US$132m) bid for Ronaldo from Real Madrid, which would make Ronaldo the most expensive player in football history.
Ronaldo began his career as a youth player at CD Nacional and his successes with the team led to a move to Sporting Clube de Portugal two seasons afterwards. Ronaldo's precocious talent caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and he signed the 18-year-old for £12.24 million in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup, and reached the UEFA Euro 2004 final with Portugal, in which he scored his first international goal.
In 2008, Ronaldo won his first UEFA Champions League title, and was named the final's man of the match. He was named the FIFPro World Player of the Year and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or winner in 40 years.
Ronaldo is the most expensive player in football history after moving from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer deal worth £80 million (€94m, US$132m). In addition, his contract with Real Madrid, in which he is to be paid £11 million per year over the following six years, makes him the highest-paid football player in the world, and values him at €1 billion as per his buyout clause
Ronaldo was the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. In 2008, Ronaldo won the Champions League with United, was named best forward and player of the tournament and was the competition's top goalscorer as well as winning the European Golden Shoe, becoming the first winger to do so, and topping the Premier League Golden Boot award.
Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for €15 million (£12.24 million) after the 2002–03 season.He requested the number 28 (his number at Sporting), as he did not want the pressure of living up to the expectation linked to the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by players such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham.
Three-time Ballon d'Or winner Johan Cruyff said in an interview on 2 April 2008, "Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United