Cristiano Ronaldo – My life so far

Cristiano Ronaldo – My life so far

( - One of the world's greatest footballers, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo has been loathed to give a glimpse into his personal life but for the first time the star has spoken out about his remarkable story.

Cristiano left his island home of Madeira aged 12 to follow his dream as a professional footballer. Last year he was voted Premiership Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year and he's now a global star said to be worth ?340 million.

The handsome winger has recently been at the centre of allegations that he invited five escort girls to his home to celebrate United's first victory of the season, along with several other men.

Speaking exclusively to Hello! Magazine he said: "Many people have images of footballers as people who like to go out all the time, spend their money lavishly and to date many women. It's hard to escape this idea but dealing with the pressures of being a famous footballer and the publicity it attracts can be very difficult.

He added: "Footballers' lifestyles are always under scrutiny but the image and publicity about wealth, glitz and good times often fail to tell the true story!

Sometimes it is a very lonely world and we don't feel safe in any place. Yet our status, our salaries mean we rarely win the public's sympathy. But I do believe I am a good role model.

The 22-year old, who recently split from former Hollyoaks actress and model Gemma Atkinson and has been linked to Bollywood star Bipasha Basu, is fiercely private about his personal life.

He explained: "I come under intense media scrutiny so I am very private about the girls I date. I am a gentleman, and I do not want them to experience the media pressure, which I have learned to ignore.

"For me, a girl does not need to be famous for me to like her. I do have my romantic moments but I am sensible. It is company that is important for me.

"I would like to marry, maybe in my thirties, but I have not met the right girl yet. For me, it is what is inside a beautiful woman that is important, although she must also be beautiful, like Angelina Jolie.

He added: "I appreciate funny, kind, friendly women with good conversation and laughing is one of my favorite pastimes, although the time is not right for me to have a relationship. Football is my life. That is my focus.

Cristiano grew up with one brother and two sisters, and it is family whom he deems most important in his life, he has even promised his sister Caitia that he will sing on her next CD.Despite currently enjoying the single life he says he'd love to be a father one day and wants to have a baby before he gets married.

He told Hello! "When I am with the children in the family I get broody.

"Every year I dress up as Santa Claus, in full costume, it is a family tradition, and bring the gifts to the children."

He became Manchester United's newest young player when he signed from Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 and was immediately given David Beckham's number seven shirt, the number also worn by his hero Luis Figo.

He told Hello!: "I was honoured to be given the shirt."

Despite quickly establishing himself as United's star player, Cristano came up against some negative publicity during the 2006 World Cup. Referring to the famous match in which he had a hand in having his Manchester United team mate Wayne Rooney sent off, Ronaldo said: "After the match, I was criticized and whistled at.

"It was not very pleasant but it did me some good. With this I grew wiser and it helped me to mature. I insist that Rooney is a good friend by whose side it is a pleasure and a honor to play, and he and I exchanged text messages just after that game with England, as well as the next day."

He added: "I feel privileged the British people have taken me to their hearts. The best thing about Britain is the people; they are fair. When you do well, they say so, when not so well, they say so."

Ronaldo is quick to point out that he much prefers staying in with his best friend and housemate Jose to living the glamorous Premiership footballers lifestyle portrayed in the press.

He insists: "I'm a quiet person. I rarely go out."

He added: "I don't think alcohol; I'm not a big spender. I have one car, a Bentley GT convertible, and I like designer clothes, but I do not have wardrobes-full. I have a good watch, a diamond bracelet and some rings but a lot of my money is invested for the future, in property".

Some of Cristiano's reported ?135,000 a week earnings have been invested in a house he's currently having built in Lisbon. He has had a hand in the design and made sure the number seven plays a prominent role.

"There will be seven bedrooms and a seven-shaped pool", he revealed. His long term ambition is to build a hotel and resort in Madeira, where people could spend beautiful, pleasant and peaceful moments, the kind I enjoy. It would be called CR7, after all, this is the number of my life".

Like many sportsmen, Ronaldo admits he is superstitious and before matches for the club and the national football team he always has the same routine.

"I must always step on to the pitch with my right foot first when playing a match", he revealed.

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