Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo

Winger, #7, 30 Years Old


Cristiano Ronaldo


Team Overview:  Portugal will face Ghana, the United States, and Germany (Group G) in the first round of the 2014 World Cup.  Portugal had to qualify through the playoffs and beat Sweden 4-2 to finally advance to the World Cup. In this game all four of Portugal’s goals were scored by their key player, Cristiano Ronaldo. In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Portugal’s run ended in Round 16 when they lost to Spain (1-0), who went on to win the World Cup. Ronaldo led Portugal to qualify again for the World Cup in 2014, scoring 8 goals in the process.  In fact, he scored a hat-trick against Sweden to propel Portugal to Brazil. [10]  In 2014 Portugal was coached by Paulo Bento but was replaced in September 2014 by Fernando Santos.

Arguably the best soccer player in the world right now, Cristiano Ronaldo is a no-brainer, player-to-watch during the 2014 World Cup. Ronaldo (age 28) was born on February 5, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira and started playing amateur soccer as early as age 8, when he played for CF Adorinha de Santo Antonio. In 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo became Manchester United’s first Portuguese player in the history of their program and was signed for €15 million.  In 2005, the fans voted him FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year.[1]  However, Ronaldo’s breakout year was during the ’06-’07 season.  Ronaldo scored more than 20 goals that season, and he helped lead Manchester United to a league title.  Ronaldo credits much of his success that season to trainer Rene Meulesteen who helped round out Ronaldo’s game making him both a better teammate and individual player.[2]  During this season, he also received back-to-back Barclays Player of the Month awards (November, December).  Ronaldo was the only player to accomplish this in Premier League history since 1997.[3]  In April of 2007, Ronaldo re-signed with Manchester United for 5 years and £31 million, making him the highest paid player in Manchester United history.[4]  At the end of the 2007-2008 season, Ronaldo won the PFA’s Player of the Year Award, PFA Young Player of the Year Award, PFA Fan’s Player of the Year Award, and FWA Footballer of the Year honors, becoming the first player to ever win the four main PFA and FWA awards.[5]  On November 15, 2008, Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st career goals for Manchester United, and on December 2nd he received the Ballon d’Or award, Manchester United’s first recipient since 1968.  Ronaldo was also awarded the Silver Ball after scoring two goals to help Manchester United win the Club World Cup.[6]  In January 2009, Ronaldo became the first Premier League player ever to win the FIFA World Player of the Year, and the first Portuguese player to win the award since 2001 (Luis Figo).[7]

After an excellent career with Manchester United, Ronaldo decided that it was time to move on, joining Real Madrid on July 1, 2009 for €94 million, making him the most expensive soccer player in history.[8]  Ronaldo’s magical career continued as he finished second in the race for FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009.  In 2010, his season started off hot when he scored four goals in a single match on October 23, 2010 against Racing de Santander, which was the most goals he had scored in a single match.[9] Ronaldo continues to play at Real Madrid, leading the team as their best player and, in the 2013-2014 season scored 51 goals in 47 games. [11]

Ronaldo’s is widely regarded as one of the best soccer players of all time and, at his time at Madrid, has joined the legacy of renowned Madrid alumni such as David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane. Ronaldo’s game is respected for its direct, aggressive, and even beautiful style. He is a powerful attacker and possesses flair along with speed and strength and as captain for the 2014 Portugal World Cup team, he is poised to have an exciting tournament that everybody should pay attention to.


Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2014 World Cup

Here is a quote from Real Madrid’s President Florentino Perez on Cristiano Ronaldo:

“We are honoured and proud to enjoy the best, Cristiano Ronaldo, who from this year forward will always be a ‘Madrista,'” Perez added, referring to a recent contract extension that will keep the 28-year-old Portuguese international at the Bernabeu through 2018.

  “Today, no one can doubt that we’re seeing the world’s best player and one of the best of all time.”


Click here to return to the Players to Watch home page.

Continue on to Group G – United States: Clint Dempsey

Group G – Germany: Mesut Özil

Group G – Ghana: Asamoah Gyan

Click here to return to the UEFA page.

Learn about Portugal’s National Anthem


How to cite this article: “Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo”, World Cup 2014, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp (accessed on (date)).


Works Cited:

[1] skysports.com

[3] “Ronaldo lands back-to-back accolades”. inthenews.com. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2007.

[4] Kay, Oliver (14 April 2007). “Ferguson lets rip at Madrid after Ronaldo signs £31m deal”. The Times (UK). Retrieved 16 April 2007.

[5] “Ronaldo secures PFA awards double”. BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 22 April 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007.

[6] “World Club Championship”. FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2009.

[7] “Ronaldo named Fifa player of 2008”. BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 January 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2010.

[8] Ogden, Mark (11 June 2009). “Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: Real Madrid agree £80 million fee with Manchester United”. London: Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2010.

[9] “Four-goal Ronaldo shares glory”. : The World Game on SBS. 24 October 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2011.

[10] fifa.com

[11] Bean, Joshua. “Ronaldo: Cementing a place in history, his 2013-2014 season”. Vavel. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2015.

3 thoughts on “Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo

    1. Deemer Class IV

      Can we split them in 2 groups because we have so many people editing this page? Just let me know which you would rather take. Thanks! my email is wdc6@duke.edu


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