Playing the Field: The Life and Loves of Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players in the world, let alone one of the greatest players of all time. The Manchester United forward has had an amazing career on the field, becoming one of the world’s highest-paid athletes and earning many titles and awards along the way.

And he’s just as much of a player off the field, dating some of the most famous women in the world, including supermodel Irina Shayk and his current girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.

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Let’s dive deeper into Cristiano Ronaldo’s journey to becoming one of the best soccer players in the world and the many star-studded relationships he’s had off the field.

A Soccer Legend is Born

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on February 5, 1985 Madeira, Portugal to Maria Dolores dos Santos Viveiros da Aveiro and José Dinis Aveiro. The fourth and youngest child, he has an older brother, Hugo, and two sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia “Katia”.

The family dealt with poverty and his father was an alcoholic. And so, Ronaldo’s mother in fact wanted to abort him, but the doctors refused to perform the procedure.

A Soccer Legend is Born

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No one could have known that Ronaldo would go on to become one of the best soccer players in the world.

Early Years

As a child, Cristiano Ronaldo showed incredible talent for soccer. When he was just 12 years old, he attended a three-day trial with Sporting CP and he ended up getting signed for a fee of £1,500 (over $2,000).

By 14, Ronaldo believed that he could play semi-professionally and he decided to leave school and focus completely on soccer.

Early Years

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It wasn’t long before Ronaldo started getting noticed by his future soccer club Sporting CP

Getting Noticed

At just 16, Ronaldo impressed Sporting CP’s first-team manager László Bölöni with his dribbling and he was promoted from Sporting’s youth team, before making his debut on Primeira Liga just a year later on September 29, 2002.

Over the 2002-2003 season, Ronaldo impressed many teams and they were interested in signing him. But Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was determined to acquire the young player.

Getting Noticed

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Cristiano Ronaldo was about to have his big break and he was going to make soccer history.

Becoming a Household Name

When signing with Manchester United, Ronaldo made history, becoming the first Portuguese player on the team and the most expensive teenage transfer fee in English football history with a fee of £12.24 million (over $16.5 million), according to The Daily Telegraph.

Ronaldo was signed for the 2003-04 season and his transfer fee proved to be worth it—he scored the team’s opening goal in the 2004 FA Cup final, helping them win the championship.

This was far from the only championship that the soccer player would win with Manchester United—he went on to win three premier league titles while with the team.

Becoming a Household Name

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And Ronaldo was about to make headlines, setting another record in the sport.

Making History

Ronaldo made headlines ahead of the 2009-2010 season when he joined Real Madrid, for a world record transfer fee at the time of £80 million ($108 million).

He went on to play for Real Madrid until 2018 before signing with Juventus from 2018 to 2021 and then returning to Manchester United in 2021. During this time and while with Manchester United, he was also playing with Portugal’s National Team.

Making History

Image via @cristiano/IG

Ronaldo didn’t only set transfer fee records—he was busy setting records in the sport.t

Setting Records

Ronaldo would go on to win five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, which is the most by a European player. He also won 32 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League.

He also holds the record for the most appearances, most goals, and assists in the Championship League, most goals in the European League, most international goals by a male player, and most international appearances by a European male.

Setting Records

Image via @cristiano/IG

But Ronaldo wasn’t only scoring on the field, he was getting a reputation as a player in his personal life as well, becoming romantically involved with many A-listers.

Beach Bum

While Cristiano Ronaldo was becoming known as one of the best soccer players of all time, he was just as busy off the field as he was on the field.

In 2002, when his soccer career was just getting started, the soccer player was spotted with Portuguese model Karina Ferro on the beach, tanning together and getting extra cozy.

Beach Bum

Image via Karina Ferro/Facebook

Soon enough, rumors started circulating about the two being an item, but they were never confirmed. Whether Ronaldo and Ferro were together or not, a little while later he was connected to his next romance.

Model Behavior

Karina Ferro wasn’t the only model Ronaldo was linked to—in 2003, he was involved with Brazilian model Jordana Jardel, the sister of his Sporting Lisbon teammate Mario Jardel.

Reportedly, Jardel was his first notable girlfriend as a professional player and the two were together while he was becoming a rising star in the soccer world.

Model Behavior

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While the romance was never confirmed or denied by Ronaldo or Jardel, the two were often pictured together and they were rumored to have dated for a few months.

Passionate Night

As Ronaldo was becoming more and more famous on the field, he started getting tied to more and more beautiful women. However, he wasn’t one to confirm his romances.

For example, rumors started circulating that the soccer player shared a passionate night with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas while she worked as a waitress in a London hotel. While neither party confirmed or denied the relationship, Thomas later spoke about her crush on Ronaldo in an interview saying, “Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s hot, I’d definitely snog him!”

Passionate Night

Image via @imogen_thomas/IG

But the relationship was over before it even began and his next one was about to be his longest yet.

Long-Distance Dating

Ronaldo was ready to move on to his next relationship and just a few years later, while playing for Manchester United, he was linked to a new model—Merche Romero.

The two were photographed on holidays and attending many events together. But Ronaldo never confirmed or denied that he dated the model who was nine years older than him.

However, she told Nova Gente that the relationship was very real and that “there was an enchantment of the two”.

Long-Distance Dating

Image via @mercheromero.oficial/IG

By September 2006, the two parted ways and before long, Ronaldo was on to his next fling.

Very British Date

Ronaldo was busy being one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and his next romance was quite unlikely—he became involved withHollyoaks actress Gemma Atkinson.

In 2007, they had a very British first date—they drank tea and watched Only Fools and Horses.

“I don’t know if he’s into it now but he seemed to enjoy it,” the actress shared with Manchester’s Key 103 radio.

But that’s as far as the actress would go when discussing their relationship, even though she was offered tons of money to talk about it when they split.

“When we did split up I got offered so much money to speak about him and I didn’t want that,” she told the radio station.

Very British Date

Image via @glouiseatkinson/IG

Ronaldo’s next relationship was just as secretive.

Bollywood Romance

That same year Ronaldo made headlines once again after being photographed kissing Indian model and actress Bipasha Basu. While the photo created a frenzy in Bollywood, Basu told the Hindustan Times that the kiss was taken out of context.

“Yes, it is me in the picture. It was taken at an opportune moment … it looks like a case of irresponsible assumptions.”

She went on to say, “He is a friend now and he has promised me that I will be invited for all his matches.”

Bollywood Romance

Image via @bipashabasu/IG

And just like that, Ronaldo moved on to his next fling.

Messy Breakup

In true Ronaldo fashion, it wasn’t long before he moved on to his next romance, and of course, it was another model.

Before Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid, he enjoyed a few dates with Spanish model Nereida Gallardo in 2008.

During the relationship, she was all about Ronaldo, wearing a ring with his shirt number and even got a tattoo of his initials on her wrist. The two dated for nine months, but their split was messy and she revealed some secrets from the bedroom.

Messy Breakup

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Even with their bad breakup, Gallardo would later come to his rescue when he was involved in a messy legal battle.

Taking One for the Team

By now, Cristiano Ronaldo was becoming known as a ladies’ man and he was about to be set up with another soccer player’s sisters. But this time it was with his Chelsea opponent Juliano Belletti’s sister Luana Belletti.

“Luana had mentioned Cristiano a couple of times to her brother so he set it all up,” a source close to the couple told The Mirror.

The source added that “Cristiano seems to be treating Luana differently from his last girlfriends by keeping her out of the limelight.”

Taking One for the Team

Image via @luanabelletti/IG

But the two weren’t meant to be and Ronaldo was about to move on to his most high-profile relationship to date.

The Hilton Touch

Just a few months later, Ronaldo was seen with a new girl—reality TV star Paris Hilton. The pair was pictured close to each other at a Los Angeles nightclub and some onlookers said they were kissing.

“[She was] hot and heavy, making out with Cristiano at his table,” a source shared with Marie Clare.

The Hilton Touch

Image via @parishilton/IG

However, Hilton denied that the two were ever romantically involved. “Cristiano and I are good friends. Very good friends. He’s a nice guy—and an incredible athlete. We’re getting to know each other and I have to leave it at that,” she told The Mirror.

Keeping Up With Kim Kardashian

Before long, Ronaldo was tied to another Hollywood A-lister—Kim Kardashian. The two met in L.A. and when the athlete heard that Kardashian was in his home city, they decided to meet up.

The two had a romantic lunch in Madrid, Spain and an onlooker at the restaurant told Us Weekly that the two were “kissing” and being “very affectionate”.

They were “just having fun” and Kardashian was “taking her time”, the source told the outlet.

Keeping Up With Kim Kardashian

Image via @kimkardashian/IG

Nothing came out of their short fling and Ronaldo was about to move on to another supermodel. But this one was about to be much more than a short fling.

Supermodel

Not long after the short fling with Kim Kardashian, Ronaldo was connected to a new woman—Russian supermodel Irina Shayk.

The two met on the set of a 2010 Armani ad campaign and soon after, they started dating. Ronaldo and Shayk managed to keep a low profile, trying not to let fame get in the way of their budding romance.

Supermodel

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However, things were about to get really messy for the couple with the surprise arrival of a child.

Surprise Arrival

Weeks after Ronaldo and Shayk got together, Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the world when he announced that he became a father to Cristiano Jr. on June 17, 2010. What’s more surprising was that Irina Shayk wasn’t the mother!

So, who is the mother?

To this day, the athlete has kept the mother’s identity a secret. Some reports suggested that he impregnated a woman during a one-night stand and paid to have full custody of his child and others said that he paid a surrogate.

Surprise Arrival

Image via @cristiano/IG

“People speculate I was with this girl or another, or there was a surrogate mother. I have never told anyone and never will,” Ronaldo said during a Friday Night With Jonathan Ross appearance.

Brazilian Miss BumBum

It wasn’t long before Ronaldo started making headlines again and this time it was about him being unfaithful

In 2013, Andressa Urach told The Sun that she hooked up with Ronaldo after he pursued her through text messages. The Brazilian Miss BumBum claimed that he called her “little horse” and that he was obsessed with her bum.

But Ronaldo denied it and when Shayk confronted him, he said it wasn’t true.

Brazilian Miss BumBum

Image via @cristiano/IG

Two months later, he was pictured partying with women in bikinis while Shayk dealt with a stalker. She started receiving messages from an anonymous woman saying she had flirted with Ronaldo. But those weren’t the only rumors going around.

The Selfie

The rumors kept on coming and now they were about a possible breakup after Shayk was absent at the 2015 Ballon d’Or, in which Ronaldo was voted the world’s best football player. Rumors were fueled after she didn’t attend his mother’s 60th birthday party and she unfollowed him on Twitter and removed personal images of them together from her Instagram account.

As if things couldn’t get any juicier, Spanish TV presenter Lucia Villalon posted a selfie of her and Ronaldo posing with his Ballon d’Or award on a plane to Madrid on Twitter, captioning the tweet, “There are 3! Golden ball congratulations! Zurich 12/01/15.”

The Selfie

Image via @lucia_villalon/Twitter

Was this the end to Ronaldo and Shayk?

The Breakup

A week later, Ronaldo confirmed that he and Irina Shayk had split up after dating for five years.

“After dating for five years, my relationship with Irina Shayk has come to an end. We believed it would be best for both of us to take this step now. I wish Irina the greatest happiness,” Ronaldo said in a statement via BBC.

The Breakup

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So why did the seemingly perfect couple split after being together for five years? Did it have to do with the rumors?

Splitsville

The truth behind the couple’s breakup was in fact quite shocking. According to The Sun, the supermodel made the decision to suddenly end things on New Year’s Eve after confronting Ronaldo.

Shayk found messages from the soccer star to dozens of women all around the world and while he initially denied it, that night he confessed to it.

Splitsville

Image via @irinashayk/IG

“Irina always chose to stand by her man,” a friend close to Shayk told Hello! “There was no way around it as the truth was staring at her in the face. After much thought and consideration, she felt she couldn’t ignore the signs.”

The One That Got Away

However, the soccer star believes that they ended their relationship because she wanted a baby and he told pals that, “she’s the one that got away,” a friend close to Ronaldo revealed to The Sun.

“He regrets the way they ended and still takes an interest in her life,” the source told the outlet adding, “He never thought Irina would ever actually leave.”

The One That Got Away

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While the breakup came as a shock to the world, it didn’t take long for Ronaldo to find comfort in a new woman.

Miss Spain

Following the breakup, Ronaldo was briefly linked with Lucia Villalon and then another woman—Spanish model Desiree Cordero.

The two exchanged likes on Instagram photos and swapped private messages before being seen together several times at his former luxury pad in La Finca.

She also sparked speculation that the two were an item after posting pictures from Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, where she watched one of his matches. The two dated for about a month, before he ended the relationship.

Miss Spain

Image via @lucia_villalon/Twitter

And after having a few short flings, Ronaldo was about to get into his next serious relationship.

Meeting Georgina

Just a year after coming out of a serious relationship with Irina Shayk, Ronaldo was ready to move on to his next serious relationship.

The athlete met Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez while she was working as a sales assistant at a Gucci store. The two passed each other while she was leaving for work and she couldn’t get him out of her head.

“From that moment it stuck in my head and it was a ‘click’ moment,” Rodriguez shared in I am Georgina.

Meeting Georgina

Image via @cristiano/IG

“I stopped and started to feel like tickles in the stomach and I said, ‘But hey, what’s wrong with me?'” she continued.

Love at First Sight

A few days later, Ronaldo and Rodriguez crossed paths again during an event for another brand. “It was then that we could talk in a relaxed atmosphere, outside of my work environment,” she told The Sun. “It was love at first sight for both.”

Love at First Sight

Image via @cristiano/IG

So, what caught the model’s attention? “His height, his body, his beauty caught my attention. I was trembling in front of him, but a spark ignited,” she recalled to *Grazia Italia *. “I am very shy and perhaps this stirred me more in front of a person who, with one glance, had touched me deeply.”

Luxurious Lifestyle

Before long, Ronaldo was picking the model up from work in luxury cars. “Many times he’d come after work. He would come, I remember once, once in a Bugatti. My coworkers went crazy. They get there on the bus, and I would leave in a Bugatti. I mean people couldn’t believe it,” Rodriguez recalled in I am Georgina.

Luxurious Lifestyle

Image via @cristiano/IG

“It was funny because I would wait for her outside the store in these flashy cars I have. We would go home and there we would go into our own world,” Ronaldo added.

Instagram Official

By November 2016, the two were spotted together at Disneyland Paris. Ronaldo tried his best to disguise himself in a wig, hat, and sunglasses, but it wasn’t hard to recognize him. However, it wasn’t until May 2017 that the two confirmed that they were an item.

Ronaldo posted a photo of him and Rodriguez cuddling on a couch on Instagram, captioning it with a heart.

That same month, Rodriguez posted a photo with Ronaldo and a group of friends at a J Balvin concert.

Instagram Official

Image via @cristiano/IG

The couple was going strong, but a surprise arrival was about to challenge their new relationship.

Twinning

After dating for about eight months, Ronaldo welcomed two new arrivals into this world—his twins Eva Maria and Mateo were born on June 8, 2017. But Georgina Rodriguez wasn’t the mother…

The twins were conceived through a surrogate mother and just like Cristiano Jr.’s mother’s identity, the twin’s mother’s identity was kept secret.

The soccer star announced their arrival with an Instagram photo, holding the babies. He captioned the post, “So happy to be able to hold the two new loves of my life.”

Twinning

Image via @cristiano/IG

Just a month later, rumors started circulating that Rodriguez was pregnant.

A Surprise of Their Own

A few months after the twins arrived, Ronaldo and Rodriguez were ready to share some exciting news with the world—they were expecting a child of their own!

The couple welcomed their daughter Alana Martina on November 12, 2017. Ronaldo shared a beautiful photo of the family in the hospital, captioning it, “Alana Martina is just born! Both Geo and Alana are doing great! We are all very happy!”

A Surprise of Their Own

Image via @cristiano/IG

The photo went on to become one of the most-liked photos on Instagram of 2017 with over 11 million likes!

Lucky #7

After baby number four was born, the soccer player revealed that he didn’t want to stop there—he wanted to have three more children! So, a total of seven children!

“I want seven children and the same number of Ballon d’Ors,” Ronaldo shared with The Sun.

Even his eldest son Cristiano Jr. agrees.

Lucky #7

Image via @cristiano/IG

“He wants more brothers and sisters. He wants seven, the magic number, and I think that’s good,” Cristiano told Correio da Manha.

Becoming a Father

Ronaldo doesn’t take being a father lightly and he enjoys every part of it. He sees it as his “greatest privilege” and it’s even taught him what’s important in life.

“Becoming a parent and raising my family is honestly the greatest privilege I’ve had. I’m enjoying every second of it. It’s taught me things about love I never knew existed. It has softened me and given me new perspective on what is really important in my life,” Ronaldo told Hello!.

Becoming a Father

Image via @cristiano/IG

As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for rumors to start that he was going to be a father again.

Another Pregnancy

Before long, rumors started circulating again that Rodriguez was pregnant after a photo was taken at Gran Canaria’s Fashion Week of Rodriguez in a figure-hugging skirt.

“No, I’m not pregnant,” Rodriguez told Hello!, revealing that her curves were a result of traveling and eating too much pasta.

But she wasn’t opposed to having more children. “In the future, we’d love to have more children,” she revealed to the news outlet.

Another Pregnancy

Image via @cristiano/IG

But Ronaldo was about to make headlines for another reason that almost ended his career.

Legal Issues

While Ronaldo was busy having children, he was also facing some legal issues after a woman came forward accusing him of nonconsensual relations in 2009 at a Las Vegas hotel. He denied all of the allegations.

Throughout it all, Rodriguez was there to support him. She posted on Instagram shortly after the claims were made alongside a photo of her watching one of his games captioning it, “You always transform the obstacles that are put in your way into impulse and strength to show how great you are. Thank you for making us enjoy each game. Always more and better. I love you @cristiano.”

Legal Issues

Imge via @georginagio/IG

But she wasn’t the only girlfriend to come forward and support Ronaldo.

The Ex-Girlfriend

Do you remember Cristiano Ronaldo’s ex Nereida Gallardo? The two had a messy breakup, but she came forward to support the soccer star after the allegations.

She told The Mirror that he “was a courteous guy—warm and loving. He was always a gentleman with me.”

“Cristiano treated me well while I was with him. He was never ever aggressive towards me—not even near” adding, “that’s why I was shocked when all this came out.”

The Ex-Girlfriend

Image via @cristiano/IG

Ultimately, Ronaldo didn’t face criminal charges. But he and Rodriguez continued making headlines.

Marriage Rumors

Soon enough, rumors started circling that Ronaldo and Rodriguez had gotten engaged and Novella 2000 even claimed that the couple had got married in Morocco. But sources told The Sun that that wasn’t true.

While he has yet to pop the question, marriage isn’t off the cards for the soccer player and the model.

Marriage Rumors

Image via @cristiano/IG

Ronaldo said during an episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stores that he and Rodriguez will “be [married] one day for sure”, adding that it’s his “mum’s dream as well. So, one day. Why not?”

Marriage Not Off the Cards

Rodriguez has also expressed her dream to marry Ronaldo. “Every couple wants to get married and I would love to personally. Right now we have priorities and a lot of responsibilities, although in the future it would be marvelous to become Cristiano’s wife,” Rodriguez shared with Hola!.

Marriage Not Off the Cards

Imge via @georginagio/IG

With marriage not out of the question, the couple was about to have another surprise. Ronaldo was about to come one step closer to his dream of having seven children.

Expecting Twins

In October 2021, the couple revealed some exciting news—they were expecting twins!

“Delighted to announce we are expecting twins. Our hearts are full of love—we can’t wait to meet you,” Ronaldo announced the pregnancy on Instagram, sharing a photo of him and Rodriguez in bed holding the ultrasound photos.

Expecting Twins

Image via @cristiano/IG

He also included an adorable photo of him hanging out at the pool with his other four children.

Gender Reveal

A few months later, in December 2021, the parents-to-be revealed the gender of their twins.

Ronaldo posted a sweet video of the gender reveal with his kids.

In the clip, Cristiano Jr. and Mateo are holding one balloon while Eva and Alana are holding another. Rodriguez counted to three in the background before the kids popped the balloons, which sent pink and blue confetti into the air.

Like his first set of twins, Ronaldo and Rodriguez are expecting a boy and a girl. How exciting!

Gender Reveal

Image via @cristiano/IG

And the soccer player and model were about to let the world a bit closer into their world.

“I am Georgina”

In January 2022, Ronaldo and Rodriguez finally let fans into their world with the release of Netflix’s I am Georgina, a documentary that features the pair together and separately. It focuses on Rodriguez’s life as the girlfriend of Ronaldo and the mother of their children.

In the show, she admits to how she struggled to adapt to life after meeting the athlete and how their relationship made her famous.

“I went from selling luxury items to wearing them on the red carpet. I have millions of followers and I’m the woman of the most-followed man in the world,” she said on I am Georgina.

“I am Georgina”

Imge via @georginagio/IG

But how did Ronaldo’s life change when he met the model?

Totally Smitten

Well, Ronaldo didn’t think that his relationship with Rodriguez would be much different from his many others and that he would end up falling in love with her.

Totally Smitten

Imge via @georginagio/IG

“[I] didn’t think at the beginning that [the relationship] would be this strong. That I would fall in love with her,” the soccer star revealed in I am Georgina. “I didn’t expect it honestly. But after a while I felt that she was the woman of my life,” he added.

Looking to the Future

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players in the world and he’s just as much of a player off the field as he is on the field. But after dating many of the most famous women in the world including Irina Shayk, he appears to have found his match with Georgina Rodriguez.

Looking to the Future

Imge via @georginagio/IG

We can’t wait to see what’s next for the couple and for their twins to be born.

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