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Happy 27th Birthday Cristiano Ronaldo: Three Seasons of Goals With Real Madrid (And Many More to Come)

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating

Twenty-seven years ago, a boy named Cristiano Ronaldo was born in the island of Madeira, Portugal. When he was young, Cristiano Ronaldo was raised as a football player in the Sporting Clube Portugal Academy, where he had to leave his family and his village to accomplish his dream of being a professional soccer player.

After a friendly game against Manchester United, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs told Sir Alex Ferguson that they wanted the 18-year-old winger on the Red Devils. Ferguson decided to pay 17.5M € to get Cristiano Ronaldo in Old Trafford. The legend had begun.

Cristiano Ronaldo started his career as a pure winger. In his first season in Manchester United he played 28 Premier League games and scored just four goals. The Portuguese player showed his incredible dribble skills before turning himself into a scorer three years later.

After scoring 18 combined goals through his first three seasons with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 17 goals in his fourth year in Old Trafford and won his first Champions League title scoring the goal in the final against Chelsea. The game finished with a penalty-shootout and Cristiano missed his shot.

Cristiano Ronaldo - The story from ManU 2003-2009 to Real Madrid (via Sony177)

The Portuguese player won his first Golden Boot next year scoring 31 goals in just 33 Premier League games. FC Barcelona defeated Manchester United in the final and kept Cristiano Ronaldo scoreless.That year he also won France Football Ballon D'Or and FIFA World Player. The reason behind this improvement was that Ferguson played Cristiano Ronaldo as a pure striker; he wasn't playing on the right wing anymore due to Wayne Rooney's injury.

When that season finished, he joined Kaka, Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Albiol, Granero and Arbeloa in the most active summer in Real Madrid's history. Florentino Pérez spent 96M €, but some sources said that the deal was already closed before, when Ramón Calderón ruled the club.

Ronaldo didn't have an easy time in his first months with Real Madrid. He finally moved to the left wing so he could take advantage of his speed and good mid-range shot. Kaka drew all the attention when the season began, but Ronaldo stepped it up and was Real Madrid's key player when the Brazilian player was injured, though he only played 29 Liga games because Olympique Marseille's Diaware injured him during a Champions League game. Ronaldo was the team's main scorer (Higuaín scored one more goal but the Argentinian player was on the field for 32 games).

In Mourinho's first season with the club Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed the best year of his professional career scoring 40 Liga goals in 34 games and earning his second Golden Boot. He also scored the title-winning goal against FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final played at Mestalla. Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo both allegedly refused a 100M € offer from Manchester City.

Mourinho clearly knew how to squeeze Cristiano's potential, and this season Ronaldo is looking to improve his record with 24 Liga goals in just 21 games.

Cristiano Ronaldo is probably enjoying the highlight of his career. It is true that he has lost the one-on-one skills he was known for in Old Trafford, but regardless of whether Mourinho continues as Real Madrid's coach or not, Cristiano Ronaldo will surely be the team's reference when needed. He will still be able to play for many years, and every Real Madrid fan should wish for him to keep doing so at the Santigago Bernabéu.

Cristiano Ronaldo **The Return of the King** 2011/12 HD by damianrmcf (via beckhamrmcf)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRISTIANO!