A married mother-of-two called Paula Leca has come forward as one of the McDonald’s workers who fed a young Cristiano Ronaldo burgers when he used to beg.
During his big interview with Piers Morgan on ITV, Ronaldo took the opportunity to launch an appeal to find the three McDonald’s workers who used to give him burgers as a child.
The Juventus star recalled how he and other youngsters at the Sporting Lisbon academy would ask some girls at the nearby McDonald’s for food as he had no money to buy anything.
An employee named Edna gave him food along with two other unnamed girls.
“When I was a kid, 11 or 12 years old, we didn’t have any money,” said Ronaldo.
“We lived in the same place [in Lisbon] that the other players did. The younger players.
“I saw my family [in Madeira] every three months. It was hard. A very hard period without the family.
“Late at night, 10:30 or 11:00, we are a little bit hungry. So, we had a McDonald’s next to the stadium where we lived. And we always go to the back door and knocked on the door: ‘hey, any burgers left?’
“And Edna and two more girls, they were unbelievable.”
— Renascença (@Renascenca) September 19, 2019
Now Paula Leca has come forward as one of those employees who fed a young Ronaldo during that time.
“They would appear in front of the restaurant and when there were hamburgers left over our manager would give us permission to hand them over,” Leca told radio station Renascenca.
“One of the boys was Cristiano Ronaldo who was perhaps the timidest of them all. This happened almost every night each week.”
“I still laugh about it all now. I had already told my son about it but he thought it was a fib because he couldn’t imagine his mum ever giving Cristiano Ronaldo a hamburger.
“My husband already knew about it, because sometimes he would go to pick me up from work at night and he also saw him.
“It’s funny to go back now to something that happened so long ago. It shows his humility. At least now people know this wasn’t an invention.”
On Ronaldo’s plans to invite the trio to dinner, Leca replied: “If he invited me out for dinner, I’d go for sure.
“The first thing I’d do would be to say thank you and, during the meal, we would have time to remember those times.”