2014 Fifa World Cup - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is tackled by Ghana's Andre Ayew.

2014 FIFA World Cup – Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s Football Phenom

2014 FIFA World Cup

Can Cristiano Ronaldo guide Portugal through a tricky Group G?If you are like me, you are  a novice to football. But with all the excitement radiating from Brazil and circling our planet, it is hard not to get caught up in the 2014 FIFA World Cup football fever. Footballers’ names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been flying around and many of us have no idea who these global football/soccer stars are.

Today, lets take a closer look at ace Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Wikipedia, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH, known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team. He became the world’s most expensive player when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth £80 million (€94 million/$132 million). Ronaldo’s contract with Real Madrid, under the terms of which he is paid €21 million per year (after taxes), makes him the highest-paid footballer in the world, and his buyout clause is valued at €1 billion. He is regarded by some in the sport to be currently the best player in the world,[3][4][5][6][7] and as one of the greatest of all time.[8][9][10]

2014 Fifa World Cup - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is tackled by Ghana's Andre Ayew.

2014 Fifa World Cup – Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is tackled by Ghana’s Andre Ayew.

Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, before moving to C.D. Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal. Ronaldo caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed him for £12.2 million (€15 million) in 2003. In 2004, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup.

In 2007, Ronaldo was the first player in England to win all four main PFA and FWA awards. In 2008 and 2013, he won the FIFA/Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer in the world, the first Portuguese player to win the award twice.[11][12] He was awarded the European Golden Shoe in 2008, 2011 and 2014. In 2008, he won 3 of the 4 main PFA and FWA trophies and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFPro Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, and the Onze d’Or.[13][14][15] In 2007 and 2008, Ronaldo was named FWA Footballer of the Year. He was the inaugural winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year in 2009. In a 2014 UEFA poll he was named the greatest goalscorer to play in the UEFA Champions League.[16] With 67 goals he is tied second in the competition’s top scorers of all time, only trailing Raúl by four goals.

Ronaldo is the first top European league player to reach 40 goals in a single season in two consecutive years, fastest Real Madrid player to reach 100 league goals, and the first player to score against every team in a single season in La Liga.[17] He holds the record for most goals scored in a season for Real Madrid. In January 2014, Ronaldo scored his 400th career goal.[18] After spending his first year at Madrid wearing the number 9 shirt, he began wearing the number 7 again following the departure of long-serving striker Raúl. Ronaldo had previously worn the number 7 shirt at Manchester United.

2014 FIFA World Cup - US goalkeeper Tim Howard (L) hugs Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo

2014 FIFA World Cup – US goalkeeper Tim Howard (L) hugs Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is a Portuguese international and made his debut in August 2003. He has been capped over 100 times and with 50 goals he is Portugal’s top goalscorer of all time. With Portugal he has participated in 6 major tournaments; UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2012, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He scored his first international goal in the opening game of Euro 2004 against Greece, in addition to helping Portugal reach the final. He took over captaincy in July 2008 and captained them to the Euro 2012 semi-finals finishing the competition as joint-top scorer.

Widely regarded as one of the two best players in the world within his generation (the other being Lionel Messi),[275][276] Cristiano Ronaldo plays an attacking role, most often playing as either a striker or as a winger, and is known for his finishing, pace, dribbling, positioning, crossing and free kick ability.[81][277] He is able to play on either wing as well through the center of the pitch, making him a very versatile attacker.[278]

Tactically, Ronaldo plays a powerful attacking role, often drifting from the left wing into the centre when moving off the ball. Ronaldo is known to be mentally sharp, with good vision, predicting certain plays, and also possesses very good reactions, balance and agility. Although right footed, he is also able to control the ball and cross and finish well with his left foot.[279][280]

Ronaldo is known for his pace, skill, control and dribbling ability, as well as his flair in beating players during one on one situations. He is able to finish well both inside the area and from distance.[81][281] He is also an accurate set piece and penalty kick specialist.[282] Uniquely, his height, strength, jumping ability and heading technique have given him an edge in winning aerial challenges for balls, with many of his goals often being headers.[283]

Research material courtesy of Wikipedia

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar

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