We know people by ‘who they are’, but we seldom pay heed to ‘how they become.’ Simply put, we get impressed by famous personalities and aspire to become like them but don’t take account of their failures, disappointments, adversity, struggles, persistence and hard work that led to success.
The truth is, almost all successful people have struggled at some point or the other and this is how their lives become inspirational stories.
One such inspiring character from the world of football is Cristiano Ronaldo.
He is often ranked as one of the best players in the world. The Portuguese Football Federation also named him the best Portuguese player of all time. He possesses 4 Golden Shoes and 3 Soccerballs to date, gathering many feathers in his cap during his football career. Very impressive, isn’t it?
The world sees this today and gets inspired, but his journey from a poor boy to stardom is equally motivating. Here’s what you don’t know about Ronaldo:
Ronaldo’s father was a gardener and his mother a cook. He grew up in one of the poorest areas of Funchal, which is the capital of a very small island named Madeira. He was only 9 when he started playing football. He was humiliated several times by his teammates since his father cleaned the locker rooms to earn extra money. However, mockery didn’t demoralize him and he continued playing football.
When he was 11, he moved to Lisbon, Portugal alone to join SCP. He was just 14 when his father became an alcoholic. At the same time, his brother struggled with addiction too. His hardships kept growing, but he kept moving forward. His father died of alcoholism when Ronaldo himself was just 20. Because of this, he refrains from drinking alcohol and helped his brother overcome his drinking habit too.
Ronaldo as a Humanitarian
Apart from being one of the greatest football players in the world, he is a good brother, a philanthropist and humanitarian. Once, he offered and paid for the treatment of an 11-month-old baby named Eric, who happened to be suffering from a brain disorder. In 2005, Ronaldo met Martunis, an Indonesian Tsunami survivor. He raised funds and paid for his education. Interestingly, after 11 years, Martunis was signed by Ronaldo’s old club, Sporting Lisbon.
He donated his golden shoe for over 1.5 million euros to raise money to help build schools in Gaza. He invited Syrian refugees, a father and son, to Spain and offered them work at Real Madrid.
Have you noticed his hands and wondered why he doesn’t have a single tattoo on them? It is because he donates blood regularly.
Ronald had a difficult childhood. He faced many difficulties, but he kept going and pursued his passion. His football tactics and skills aside, he’s a paradigm of kindness, toughness, and persistence for the whole world. He is a person we could all learn from.