Famous for his prowess on the soccer field, Cristiano Ronaldo has played for both Manchester United and Real Madrid. He currently serves as the captain for Portugal’s national team. Over the course of his career, Ronaldo shattered multiple records. Born on February 5th of 1985, he grew up on the working-class island of Madeira with his three elder siblings. While his father died in 2005 of kidney disease, he had a huge impact on Cristiano’s future; this equipment manager introduced his son to soccer. By the age of ten, Cristiano was something of a local soccer celebrity. Less than six years later, at the age of sixteen, he was recruited by Manchester United for contract totaling 12 million pounds. The footballer went on to win FIFA World Player of the year, the ballon d’or, and the coveted golden boot. His educational record is far less impressive. He never graduated high school.
Football came first. Some jokingly say that Cristiano majored in soccer with a minor in football. In an interview, his godfather recalled multiple times where the boy would sneak from his room to avoid school work and family dinners. Oddly enough, this became something his mother supported. In a 2011 interview with CelebsNow, Cristiano stated the following in regards to schooling: “‘I was not thick but I was not interested in school. I was expelled after I threw a chair at the teacher.” While he preferred to focus solely on his sport, he does not encourage others to do the same. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the tale of young Martunis. Left homeless and alone by a 2004 tsunami, the Indonesian boy was found stranded on an abandoned beach in nothing but his SCP football jersey. He credited his passion for football for his survival. Personally invested in the case, Ronaldo flew to the boy’s home and promised to pay for his education. In 2015, ten years after the storm that changed his life, that same boy joined Portugal’s football league under the tutelage of his former idol.