Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t just the most famous soccer player in the world; there’s a good chance he’s the most famous athlete in the world.
For starters, the Portuguese national is the most followed person on Instagram, with more than 240 million followers. For reference, he has more followers than Ariana Grande, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé.
While he certainly knows how to rack up the followers, Ronaldo has also made a name for himself on the field. He has played in numerous World Cups on teams all over the world and continues to be successful on the pitch.
From being named after a former US president to dealing with health issues as a child, here are eight facts you need to know about the soccer star.
He Was Named After a U.S. President
Believe it or not, but Ronaldo was named after former United States President Ronald Reagan. Reagan was Ronaldo’s father’s favorite actor, and he believed it was a strong name. Not to mention, Reagan was president when Ronaldo was born in 1985.
He Didn’t Grow Up With A Lot of Money
Though Ronaldo is one of the richest athletes out there, he didn’t grow up with a lot of money. In fact, he was forced to share a bedroom with his two sisters and his brother as a child.
A Blessing in Disguise
When he was 14 years old, Ronaldo was expelled for throwing a chair at a teacher. However, instead of forcing him back into school, his mother allowed him to pursue soccer full-time. From that moment on, Ronaldo has focused solely on the sport.
Diagnosed With a Heart Condition
Ronaldo became interested in soccer at a very young age, but a heart condition almost prevented him from playing the sport altogether. When he was a teenager he was diagnosed with a “racing heart,” which meant his heart was beating faster than a normal heart. Thankfully, he was able to undergo an operation that fixed his resting heart rate.
Ronaldo is just the third athlete to sign a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, following in the footsteps of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. In fact, this deal is expected to earn Ronaldo a billion dollars in his lifetime.
First Portuguese Player
Back in 2003, Ronaldo joined Manchester United in the English Premier League. He was just a teenager at the time, but he became the first Portuguese player to ever join the club.
Does Not Drink Alcohol
Ronaldo has revealed he doesn’t drink alcohol because his father was an alcoholic. In fact, his father died from a liver condition at just 52 years old.
Father of Four
Ronaldo first became a father when his son, Cristiano Jr., was born in June 2010. He had full custody of the child and stated that he wasn’t going to reveal the identity of his son’s mother.
He then became a father to twins — daughter Eva and son Mateo — in June 2017 via surrogacy. He then had his fourth child, daughter Alana Martina, in November 2017 when his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.