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The career of Cristiano Ronaldo: The epic journey

Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon D'Or 2015
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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

This is a Chinese proverb that precisely describes the epic journey of the former FIFA World Player of the Year and 5 time FIFA Ballon d’Or player of the year. In Ronaldo’s entire career, the gifted striker and former Real Madrid Talisman is considered the most decorated player in the history of the sport.

Early sporting life

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on the 5th of February 1985 in Madeira, Portugal. As a young player, he discovered his gift in football as a part of regular starting 11 in his amateur home club Andorinha.

Today, the dead-ball specialist is the captain of the Portugal football team and a key player in the Juventus team.

Here is the journey of one of the most adorned player in the history of football – with a detailed and accurate country and club specifics.

Club career

Youth level

As a young lad, Ronaldo plied his trade with Andorinha Football Club between 1992 and 1995. Then he moved to Nacional which he played for between 1995 and 1997.


Ronaldo then became a semi-professional player from 1997 with Sporting Lisbon at only 14 years old. He represented the youth team from 1997-2001 as a dominant figure in the squad.

Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sporting CP) – Portugal (2001-2003)

Ronaldo’s career journey in sporting Lisbon began when he was only 16 years old. Breaking into the senior team and making a significant impression as a talented winger.

In 2003, several clubs including Arsenal, Barcelona, and Liverpool showed interest in signing the Portuguese player. Unfortunately, the move did not mature.

On August 2003, Sporting Lisbon defeated Manchester United and Ronaldo was coincidentally the most impressive player on the pitch. His skills and performance did not go unnoticed as the then Manager of the English-based team Manchester United to chase for his signature.

Ronaldo finally moved to Manchester in 2003 at an estimated fee of £12.24 million.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Sporting Lisbon
Credit: Official Sporting CP Twitter account

Manchester United – England (2003-2009)

In Manchester United, the player did not show any signs of fading from the sport. Ronaldo played a pivotal role in the squad, and millions of fans and teammates loved his playing style.

Between 2003 and 2009, the midfield maestro scored a whopping 96 goals for the club and created over 34 assists in his 6 years stay at Manchester – Making him earn significant honors like the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or Award.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
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Real Madrid – Spain (2009-2018)

In 2009, Ronaldo moved to the Santiago Bernabeu as the most expensive player in history after spending 6 years in Manchester.

In Real Madrid, the forward even took his career milestones further by achieving even greater honors.

At Real Madrid, Ronaldo made 322 appearances and scored 333 goals and won major competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid
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Juventus – Italy (2018-Present)

In 2018, Ronaldo moved to Juventus, Italy after his 9-year career stint at the Madrid club.

Now, only 35 years old, Ronaldo has a 4-year contract with the Italian based club that will end in the 2022 summer transfer window.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
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Country and International career stats

Ronaldo has represented his country for 19 years now since 2001 at the U15 level. Today, he is the captain of his country with 102 international goals from 121 competitive appearances.

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