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Cristiano Ronaldo

Biography

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Able to use either foot and play on both sides of the pitch, he attracted the attentions of Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting Lisbon beat Manchester United 3-1 in the inauguration of the Alvalade XXI stadium. After the match, United's players spoke enthusiastically of the young talent that they had just played against saying they would rather have him on their team than have to play against him in the future. That was enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to decide that he wanted to acquire the youngster for his team, who were in the market for a right-sided midfielder, signing him for £12.24 million pounds after recently completing the transfer of David Beckham out of the club.

Since debuting for the famous English club, Ronaldo has earned equal amounts of praise and criticism for his flashy style of play and dribbling skills. He has played primarily as a winger for United and his ability to use both feet allows him to play on either wing. He demonstrated these qualities at the 2004 FA Cup final in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, in which he starred, scoring the first goal in United's 3-0 win over Millwall.

In his second season at United, Ronaldo has grown as a player, notably starring in the memorable 4-2 demolition of champions Arsenal at their Highbury stadium. Despite this, the doubts over his 'flashy' style and perceived inability to produce an 'end product', the final killer cross or pass to set-up a goal are yet to be allayed.

Ronaldo made his international debut in August 2003, against Kazakhstan. He scored Portugal's only goal in their 2-1 loss to Greece in the opening match of Euro 2004 and the first goal of the semi final against the Netherlands which Portugal won 2-1. The final saw a rematch of the opening game of the tournament and again, Greece emerged victorious. Though the tournament ended in disappointment for Ronaldo, he had truly come of age as a player.

Ronaldo represented Portugal at the 2004 Olympic Games. As of 11 June 2005, he has scored 10 goals in 24 appearances for his country. Ronaldo is currently the second highest scorer in World Cup qualification in the European zone with 7 goals so far.

On the 29th October 2005 Ronaldo scored Manchester United's 1000th Premiership goal, in a 4-1 loss at the hands of Middlesbrough.

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Another Favorite Player

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Charity

Ronaldo has also done charity work, including recently flying out Martunis, an 11-year-old Indonesian tsunami survivor and his father to attend one of their World Cup qualifiers, covering all their expenses. Subsequently all the players contributed money to buy them a house in Indonesia.

After the two World Cup qualifiers in June, Ronaldo flew to Indonesia to visit the areas affected by the tsunami and to raise funds. He met the President of the Indonesian Republic Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of East Timor Xanana Gusmão and raised over 1 billion rupiah by auctioning off his personal sports gear.

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