BEST IN THE WORLD:
- With his clever step-overs, fast footwork with both feet and good heading ability, Ronaldo has scored 102 goals for Manchester United in 264 matches for the club.
- The winger enjoyed a highly successful 2007-08 season, scoring 42 goals in all competitions as United won a Premier League and Champions League double.
- His exploits led to him becoming only the second player to win England's Footballer of the Year in successive seasons and just the third Portuguese player to win the Ballon d'Or award after Eusebio in 1965 and Luis Figo in 2000.
TRANSFER TO REAL?
- His exploits caught the attention of Real Madrid leading to a long summer of transfer speculation with Manchester United reporting the Spanish club to FIFA over their public courting of the player. FIFA took no action and Ronaldo, who was recuperating from ankle surgery, eventually stayed with United.
- Born on Feb 5, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, Ronaldo's late father Jose Dinis Aveiro gave him the second given name Ronaldo in honor of former US president Ronald Reagan.
- The turning point in his career came in July 2003 when he impressed Manchester United's players and manager Alex Ferguson with an outstanding performance against them when United came to play in the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon. He joined Manchester United shortly afterwards aged just 18 for $18.5 million.
WORLD CUP CONTROVERSY
- He courted controversy in the 2006 World Cup finals when he became embroiled in an incident involving his United teammate Wayne Rooney during England's World Cup quarterfinal against Portugal. Cameras caught him winking at his bench as Rooney was sent off. There was speculation he might have to leave United, but instead he stayed and helped United win the Premier League the next season.
(Agencies via China Daily January 14, 2009)