Once Upon A Time : Cristiano Ronaldo, the boy from Madeira. A bedtime story


Hello Moms and Dads ! Here’s a bedtime story for your little ones, Happy-End guaranteed !

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Once upon a time in the small but  beautiful island of Madeira off the western coast of  Portugal,  a baby  boy was born(05.02.1985) . The latest addition  in the Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and  José  Dinis Aveiro  family wasn’t as welcome as one might think ; the newborn’s  older siblings  Hugo aged 10 and his two sisters Elma and Liliana Catia, weren’t too keen to add   another baby in their family of “grown ups”!

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Cristiano’s  Ronaldo( named after USA’s president Ronald Reagan ) dos Santos Aveiro life was at peril even before his birth; his mother tried to abort in the early stages of her pregnancy for the family’s weak finances couldn’t cope with a new member addition. Abortion was illegal in these days so Maria Alveiro  tried  some “old witches” tricks like drinking lots of strong boiled black beer  and running every day (Noticias Magasine). In the end she gave birth to a very strong a healthy baby !

Christiano’s family  were deeply humble; the father José was working as a  municipal gardener  and Maria as a cook in a small restaurant, after spending some time in France, as a cleaning lady. The newborn grew up in  Santo Antonio, a largely working class neighborhood; his home was a tin roofed shack that overlooked the ocean and so small that the four siblings were obliged to share the same room.images (8)

As one might expect, life wasn’t easy for the little boy; his father, a notorious alcoholic( he died from kidney problems in 2005) a big brother keen on drugs and a loving( but frequently absent) mother who worked overtime to bring food on  the family table, Christiano turned his need of reassurance to … a football ! Since he was three this kind of dependence was so strong that he’d refuse to go to bed without his beloved ball!

At nine,  the benjamin of the Aveiro family started kicking the ball in FC Androrinha,  a club where his father was working part-time doing odd jobs, like  taking care of the boys’ jerseys and  cleaning the club’s latrines. Of course his team mates ( children are so cruel sometimes) made fun of him, giving him nicknames as “the crybaby” because he did so when they refused to pass him the ball or when he didn’t score. Another one was “the little bee” because he never stopped running around the pitch! He was so dedicated to this sport that he often missed a meal and sleep in order to play football.

 

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Two years later he signed  with another but bigger local club The Nacional;  aged 12 he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP who signed him for £1500  thus settling  Nacional’s  debt to Sporting and saving the club from bankruptcy!

After spending his early years in his small island well away off the  big cities, Ronaldo joined the youngsters of Alcochete, the club’s  “Football Factory” in the mainland. The young boy trained hard, much more than his comrades; he stayed at the gym room untill late, he exercised throwing free-kicks no matter what the weather was and he also worked as ball-boy for the Sporting to send money back to his family;5 euros for each match !

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Nevertheless, being away from  his family was very hard to the young boy’s wellbeing; the club arranged for Maria Alveiro to join him and then life was much better, even when at only 14 he threw a chair to one of his teachers when the latter mocked Ronaldo’s island accent and his family’s shortcomings ! Anyhow, school was never  his cup of tea; Christiano was an awful pupil  and quit his studies aged 14.

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Another problem came  then and a serious one; the club’s doctor diagnosed a racing heart, a condition that could have forced him to give up football and all his dreams. He underwent an operation  in wich a laser was used to cauterise the affected area of his heart ; he returned to the training ground only a few days later !

Some years later, aged only 18 he was  in a plane en route to Great Britain’s Manchester . One may wonder  about the thoughts on his future  from the teenager during this trip to a strange land;  a son lookalike, the Ballons d’Or , the titles, the world-wide fans  adulation, a life and a career applauded and envied by millions  football addicts, did he ever dreamed about a future like this ?

Cristiano’s fairytale is not over, but we can predict how  the story ends ;they all lived HAPPY  EVER  AFTER !

 

Here’s CR7 Highlights : (when he was in Portugal)

and Ronaldo with his family  images (10)



Categories: Bedtime Stories

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