Hello Moms and Dads ! Here’s a bedtime story for your little ones, Happy-End guaranteed !
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”!
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.
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.
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 !
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.
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)
Categories: Bedtime Stories