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Monday, January 1, 2007

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, ( born 5 February 1985 ) , Born into a poor family on the Portuguese island of Madeira off the Morrocan coast, he spent his early footballing years starring for the local side, Nacional.
Sporting Lisbon snapped him up for their schoolboy team at the age of 13 for £1,500. Yet his first few months were spent defending himself from the local players who taunted him over his accent. The difference between Madeira and Lisbon is the Portuguese equivalent of England and Scotland. And on more than one occasion he found himself in bust-ups with youngsters who mocked the way he spoke. Cristiano Ronaldo became Manchester United's newest young hero when he signed from Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 and was immediately given David Beckham's number 7 shirt.The Portuguese teenager was expected to take his time to settle in England, but made an immediate impact with a stunning debut against Bolton at Old Trafford. While he did not always replicate that level of performance in his first season, Ronaldo's tricks were always entertaing at the very least.

However for all his skill and pace, Ronaldo supposedly did not want the pressure of living up to expectations with this number, and so initially asked for the number 28 which he wore at Sporting. Preferring a free role, A row between him and Ruud van Nistelrooy at the Carrington training ground intensified speculation about their roles at the club. Ferguson has however put his faith with Ronaldo, who signed a new deal with United that will last through 2010. Ronaldo is also quoted in the Manchester Evening News as saying "United have stood by me and been there for me and I want to repay that."

Ronaldo also performed well for Portugal in the World Cup in Germany, helping them get to the semi-finals, although his tournament was overshadowed by the part he was alleged to have played in getting United team-mate Wayne Rooney sent off in the quarter-finals. The young winger was made public enemy number one by the English press, while quotes attributed to him about wanting to join Real Madrid only made him more unpopular. 2006/07 is a big season for him if he is going to live up to the potential he has shown so far, and rise above the negative attention he will be getting from opposition fans.