Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional footballer from Portugal who currently plays as a forward for AI-Nassr and the Portugal national team. Ronaldo began his professional football career with Sporting CP in Portugal before joining Manchester United in 2003. Since then he scored over 800 career goals, won seven league titles, and is the most followed person on Instagram.
From nearly being forced to retire due to a heart condition to having an airport named after him, here are four facts about him that you may not know.
The Poker Player Who Wins
Although best known for his goal-scoring talent, Ronaldo is known to have competed in big poker games. He began in 2015 and has since competed against the best professional poker stars. Most notably, Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul. Known for his exceptional poker skills, and has even starred in several televised poker events, the epic duel between Paul and Ronaldo was nothing short of extraordinary.
What’s more? While most were rooting, or at least expecting Paul to win, Ronaldo shocked the world when he scored with a pair of jacks as his winning hand. Turns out, Ronaldo is an ace both on and off the football field. It was not something that poker fans were expecting at all.
Online poker is becoming a popular and convenient recreation for players all around the world. Even Ronaldo dabbles in a bit of online gambling. It’s no secret that online crypto poker has made it possible for players - professional or beginners – to improve their skills and compete with others from all over the world. However, it’s possibly the integration of cryptocurrencies that has really made the game soar in recent years.
Since cryptocurrencies offer faster and cheaper transactions, players no longer have to wait days before they receive their online poker winnings. Also, cryptocurrencies bypass international restrictions, meaning even players in restricted countries and regions can now play online poker and transact in offshore accounts without worries.
The Cristiano Ronaldo Airport
Cristiano Ronaldo was born and raised in Madeira, a Portuguese autonomous territory, before beginning his professional football career in Lisbon. Ronaldo has never forgotten his roots and has frequently professed his affection for Madeira and Portugal on social media.
In 2016, it was announced that they would be renaming Madeira’s airport to Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo. He has officially joined the list of historical figures, such as JFK and John Lennon, who have had an airport named after them, after the airport’s unveiling back in 2017.
What’s more, the airport also paid tribute with a black marble columnar bust, with a metal plaque with the player’s trademark CR7 engraved. However, reportedly at the request of Ronaldo’s family, the bust was removed after just 15 months.
The Cristiano Ronaldo Sociology Class
As strange as it may sound, the University of British Columbia Okanagan offered a sociology class on Ronaldo in 2015 as part of their fourth-year modules.
At the time, Luis LM Aguiar, an associate professor of sociology, wanted to investigate "how Ronaldo has been used to construct several discourses about who he is, what makes him distinct as a footballer, what is his relationship to Portugal, Madeira (his hometown), and indeed Portuguese identity."
Aguiar thought Ronaldo would make an interesting case study for his class because of his 'social and cultural' appeal to individuals outside of football.
Using His Success for Good
Ronaldo, a global icon, also uses his influence for good and is particularly interested in children's charities and global organizations. Ronaldo is presently an ambassador for Save the Children, UNICEF, and World Vision.
During the coronavirus, he stepped in to assist overburdened hospitals back home by donating $1.08 million to three hospitals in Portugal attempting to combat COVID-19 in the country. Ronaldo has also assisted fans with life-changing surgery and made a hefty donation to the hospital that assisted his mother's cancer recovery.
If that isn’t enough, after learning that the son of Portuguese colleague Carlos Martins had been diagnosed with an extremely rare blood condition, he chose to donate blood. In the aftermath of the announcement, he also became a bone marrow donor.
To Sum Up
From the epic poker duel with Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul to charitable donations, Ronaldo’s success stems far beyond the football field. His successes have been rewarded with an airport tribute and a specialized sociology module. With a whopping 400 million Instagram followers, he is now one of the highest-earning celebrities on the platform.
While known best for his exceptional football career – regarded as the best player in the world – Ronaldo has overcome family heartaches and achieved incredible success outside of football in his short life.