A man of many firsts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 October, 2008, 12:00am

Manchester United's star player has been grabbing attention since the start

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro

Born: February 5, 1985

Chinese horoscope: Ox

Nationality: Portuguese

Club: Manchester United

Previous club: Sporting Clube de Portugal

Position: Winger

Squad number: 7

Speciality: Dribbling skills

Ten things you need to know about him

1. His second name, 'Ronaldo', comes from former US president Ronald Reagan. Reagan was his father's favourite actor.

2. Ronaldo is the only player ever to play for Sporting's U-16, U-17, U-18, B Team and the first team in one season.

3. He was the first Portuguese player to be signed by Manchester United

4. After joining United, Ronaldo asked for the No 28 jersey. That was the number he wore at Sporting. But he was given the famous No 7 shirt. The No 7 had been worn by United legends, such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Ronaldo says the honour has given him extra motivation.

5. He has made 245 appearances for United and scored 94 goals so far. He is considered the highest goal-scoring winger in the English Premier League.

6. In the 2006 World Cup quarter-final match between Portugal and England, Ronaldo's United teammate Wayne Rooney was sent-off. He had stomped on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho. Ronaldo was seen complaining to the referee. He was thought to have influenced the referee's decision. He winked at the Portuguese bench after Rooney's dismissal. Watch it on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsGe3uC3STg).

7. After the World Cup incident, Ronaldo was heavily criticised by the English press. He said he would consider leaving United if 'the circumstances are not right'.

8. He describes himself as a happy and peaceful person. But he says he is stubborn sometimes and worries too much about silly things.

9. He wears a cross and always kisses it three times before a match.

10. Ronaldo once got very angry with his teacher because she made fun of his accented Portuguese.