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Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography

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Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time, yet for all his success on the pitch he has often been a controversial and divisive figure off it. It was clear from early on that Ronaldo had a prodigious talent. More than that, though, he only ever had one goal in mind. At the age of twelve, he left his humble origins on Madeira behind to travel to the Po Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time, yet for all his success on the pitch he has often been a controversial and divisive figure off it. It was clear from early on that Ronaldo had a prodigious talent. More than that, though, he only ever had one goal in mind. At the age of twelve, he left his humble origins on Madeira behind to travel to the Portuguese mainland in pursuit of his dream to become the best footballer on the planet. It wasn't long before he had the biggest clubs in Europe knocking on his door, but it was Manchester United who won the race for his signature. Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo developed into the complete footballer and athlete, winning three league titles and a Champions League, and cementing his status as a United legend, along the way. He then became the biggest galactico of them all when he transferred to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee. However, he has endured a difficult relationship with managers, teammates and the fans - and with only one La Liga title and one Champions League win to his name, his time at the club has often been overshadowed by his fierce rivalry with Barcelona and Lionel Messi. Guillem Balague, respected football journalist and expert on the Spanish game, provides the definitive account of what has made Ronaldo the player and man that he is today.


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Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time, yet for all his success on the pitch he has often been a controversial and divisive figure off it. It was clear from early on that Ronaldo had a prodigious talent. More than that, though, he only ever had one goal in mind. At the age of twelve, he left his humble origins on Madeira behind to travel to the Po Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time, yet for all his success on the pitch he has often been a controversial and divisive figure off it. It was clear from early on that Ronaldo had a prodigious talent. More than that, though, he only ever had one goal in mind. At the age of twelve, he left his humble origins on Madeira behind to travel to the Portuguese mainland in pursuit of his dream to become the best footballer on the planet. It wasn't long before he had the biggest clubs in Europe knocking on his door, but it was Manchester United who won the race for his signature. Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo developed into the complete footballer and athlete, winning three league titles and a Champions League, and cementing his status as a United legend, along the way. He then became the biggest galactico of them all when he transferred to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee. However, he has endured a difficult relationship with managers, teammates and the fans - and with only one La Liga title and one Champions League win to his name, his time at the club has often been overshadowed by his fierce rivalry with Barcelona and Lionel Messi. Guillem Balague, respected football journalist and expert on the Spanish game, provides the definitive account of what has made Ronaldo the player and man that he is today.

30 review for Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amit Mishra

    One of the best player of this beautiful game the world has ever seen. The best striker who played on his own rules. He played with prestigious clubs of the world Man Utd, Real Madrid and currently in Juventus. The book is captivating and interesting that keeps the readers engaged to know every aspect of his life. The story of choosing no.7 shirt at Old Trafford and carrying the legacy of George Best and David Beckham. He is an inspiration and icon for youths who want to achieve something in the One of the best player of this beautiful game the world has ever seen. The best striker who played on his own rules. He played with prestigious clubs of the world Man Utd, Real Madrid and currently in Juventus. The book is captivating and interesting that keeps the readers engaged to know every aspect of his life. The story of choosing no.7 shirt at Old Trafford and carrying the legacy of George Best and David Beckham. He is an inspiration and icon for youths who want to achieve something in their life by their hard work.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hasham Rasool

    I enjoy reading this book. Alhamdulillah. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of my favourite footballers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alvin Lo

    Revealed the inside stories of events in CR's life. Basically it's all i want from reading such a biography. A nice read for one who's followed him from Man Utd days. However, the author Guillem Balague, a skysports-said Spanish soccer specialist, truly disappointed me by using 19 pages of foreword to defend himself. I partly bought the book cos of his name, his reputation, but now he's definitely reversed it. The foreword has nth to do with the introduction of the book, but just a desperate man Revealed the inside stories of events in CR's life. Basically it's all i want from reading such a biography. A nice read for one who's followed him from Man Utd days. However, the author Guillem Balague, a skysports-said Spanish soccer specialist, truly disappointed me by using 19 pages of foreword to defend himself. I partly bought the book cos of his name, his reputation, but now he's definitely reversed it. The foreword has nth to do with the introduction of the book, but just a desperate man trying to use whtever channel to clear his own name. Could tell so much about his personality, and how pathetic __. The occasional excessive bs is another issue of the book, but one could always simply skip them. Like once it used a whole page to outline the religious background of a place. It showoff-ed the amount of research done, but not his writing skill in putting quality info when necessary.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lorenzo Pepe

    This book is about how a young Cristiano Ronaldo, with a dream to be the best player in th world madehis dream a reality. At the age of 12, he got recruited to play professionally. Not long after some of the biggest clubs in Europe wanted to recruit him, Manchester United won his signature. And a couple years later, he was voted the best player in the world (at 25). I very much enjoyed this book and would give it 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy sport biographies.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vance

    Nice work by Guillem Balague. Doesn't glorify the player, in fact provides what I consider a balanced and fair analytical account of Cristiano's life, thus far. Someone else writing this, possibly sanctioned by the Ronaldo camp, would never have achieved the objectivity Balague has. Some interesting insights into the mind of Ronaldo and what makes him tick. Not sure if like some others, I'd label him a sad case or not. He's achieved a lot in exchange for major sacrifice, and something in that is Nice work by Guillem Balague. Doesn't glorify the player, in fact provides what I consider a balanced and fair analytical account of Cristiano's life, thus far. Someone else writing this, possibly sanctioned by the Ronaldo camp, would never have achieved the objectivity Balague has. Some interesting insights into the mind of Ronaldo and what makes him tick. Not sure if like some others, I'd label him a sad case or not. He's achieved a lot in exchange for major sacrifice, and something in that is highly commendable. The drive and dedication deserve equal dollops of admiration; the childish petulance, not so. Good read, no doubt about it . . . . .

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aik Lim

    The underlying nag after reading this incredibly driven self-perfection footballer is how lonely and sad his life is. That all he strives and achieves can't really satisfy the deep hole in his heart. A brilliant footballer whom i'm privilege to see in my lifetime but ultimately will never be fully loved like Messi or Pele because of his deep self cent redness flaw.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paolo Paolo

    This is probably the best of all the biographies of Ronaldo. It's similar to Luca Caioli's version, but it's more detailed in my opinion. I enjoyed slightly more than Caioli's.

  8. 5 out of 5

    17arkelle142

    i found this book very interesting and enjoyed learning new facts of one of the most skilled and hardest working men to ever live

  9. 5 out of 5

    Flynn

    This book is about a young boy called Cristiano Ronaldo, with a dream to be the best player in the world and he made his dream reality Cristiano Ronaldo grew up in a very poor town of Madeira. At the age of 12, he got recruited to play professionally. Not long after some of the biggest clubs in Europe wanted to recruit him, Manchester United won his signature, and years later, he was voted to be the best player in the world at 25 years old he was one of the best players back then for the hardshi This book is about a young boy called Cristiano Ronaldo, with a dream to be the best player in the world and he made his dream reality Cristiano Ronaldo grew up in a very poor town of Madeira. At the age of 12, he got recruited to play professionally. Not long after some of the biggest clubs in Europe wanted to recruit him, Manchester United won his signature, and years later, he was voted to be the best player in the world at 25 years old he was one of the best players back then for the hardship he had been through and he was self driven. This just proves that if you push your self to the limit and do your best you can follow your dream there are also a lot of people in this world that look up to him because he is a great leader. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys sports biographies.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Campbell McIntyre

    This biography was a gift for Christmas and I had only just started it before the wide reading task was set so I decided to use it as one of my reviews. The book is based on world famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo. It is a simple biography of how he got to where he is plus all the drama along the way. Ronaldo had a lot of trouble throuout his career regards to media and fallouts with coaches and players. But it also states his fierce rivalry with Lionel Messi. At the young age of just 20, This biography was a gift for Christmas and I had only just started it before the wide reading task was set so I decided to use it as one of my reviews. The book is based on world famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo. It is a simple biography of how he got to where he is plus all the drama along the way. Ronaldo had a lot of trouble throuout his career regards to media and fallouts with coaches and players. But it also states his fierce rivalry with Lionel Messi. At the young age of just 20, Ronaldo lost his father and had to deal with his recent move to Manchester alone. I enjoyed this book because I was able to relate to a lot to what was going on as I play football myself like Ronaldo. I think there was a lot of very interesting knowledge on Ronaldo that without reading this book I would have never gained. A character I liked was Gary Neville. A former Manchester United player that in his later years played with Ronaldo. I liked him because he was very generous to the team but in particular Ronaldo as he was new to the squad. He was also a great player and played internationally for England. A theme I found amongst the book was if you want to be a great sportsman there are a lot of sacrifices that had to be made. As he moved from academy to academy he lost a lot of friends so by the end of it Ronaldo just stayed by himself and would always train by himself without being hassled by anyone. But now that I think of it, maybe that's why he gets payed hundreds of millions of dollars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Muneeb Khan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wouldn't expect Guillem to be so pathetic. I for one believe that his head is full of dirt-load of prejudice and envy. A cynical man with lack of respect for a man who's given everything to pursue and fulfill his childhood dream despite his humble origins. A man who wanted to be the best footballer in the world, and is. But despite all the criticism and all the people like this writer, passion can not be tamed and as my friend says GREATNESS IS ONLY BEAUTIFUL WHEN IT IS VIOLENT. So no matter how Wouldn't expect Guillem to be so pathetic. I for one believe that his head is full of dirt-load of prejudice and envy. A cynical man with lack of respect for a man who's given everything to pursue and fulfill his childhood dream despite his humble origins. A man who wanted to be the best footballer in the world, and is. But despite all the criticism and all the people like this writer, passion can not be tamed and as my friend says GREATNESS IS ONLY BEAUTIFUL WHEN IT IS VIOLENT. So no matter how much you write against him, he will continue to rise and work hard. Talent is natural but skill is developed, and this man is testimony to the fact that thousands of hours of practice on the pitch doesn't go down in a hole.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Soccerforfo

    Cristiano Ronaldo is a great book about a wonderful soccer player.In the book they talk about how he starts out, he starts out has a low family but he was good soccer player from working really hard. He would train non stop to try to make it to the pros. He started to grow up a lot of clubs and academies started to look at him. When he grew up he ended up signing his first big big contract with Manchester United. He moved around from a couple clubs after that and now he is known as the number on Cristiano Ronaldo is a great book about a wonderful soccer player.In the book they talk about how he starts out, he starts out has a low family but he was good soccer player from working really hard. He would train non stop to try to make it to the pros. He started to grow up a lot of clubs and academies started to look at him. When he grew up he ended up signing his first big big contract with Manchester United. He moved around from a couple clubs after that and now he is known as the number one best play on earth for modern day soccer and one of the best to nearly play the game. He saids “ We don’t want to tell dreams we want to show them.” This quote is one of his most famous quote because it doesn’t only fit for soccer it fits for every sport or real life situation.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sumaiya

    It was sensational,inspirstional and ironic❤. CR7 is a complete inspiration for those who still are struggling with finding true inspirations😍

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ronaldo Calle

    This book is about how young Ronaldo made his dream come true becoming the best player in the world. At the age of 12 he was recruited to play professionally. Not long after some of the biggest clubs in Europe wanted to recruit him. At the age of 25 he was recognized as the best players of the world. I will recommend this book to people who likes sport biographies.

  15. 5 out of 5

    R.Eashwar Ramu

    Gave me an entirely new perspective on CR7.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shibin k

    This book is informative and the first half of the or three fourth of the book tells the story of how a boy from Madeira, dreamed of becoming a footballer made it to the top league and eventually became the G.O.A.T(although the writer didn't mention it). The premise of the development of this project is bit awkward, the writer who is definitely not a fan of Cristiano has made some ugly remarks about the player in a book about Messi(which i found unnecessary) and had to face the consequences and e This book is informative and the first half of the or three fourth of the book tells the story of how a boy from Madeira, dreamed of becoming a footballer made it to the top league and eventually became the G.O.A.T(although the writer didn't mention it). The premise of the development of this project is bit awkward, the writer who is definitely not a fan of Cristiano has made some ugly remarks about the player in a book about Messi(which i found unnecessary) and had to face the consequences and eventually had to take up the project of writing about the player. The childhood and Manchester united days are sweet and inspiring as most of the parts are the interviews of people who were actually involved in the players development. Despite the early conclusion of a hard worker who dreamed to be the best, the author cant hide his hate towards the player that whenever his opinion counts, he portrayed him as egoistic self centered man, i couldn't agree to his interpretation of the acts of Ronaldo on the day of Euro final, the author portrayed him as a spotlight stealer from the "coach" which is absolutely ridiculous way to end the book. Any football lover who has seen the final would've felt sorry for Cristiano irrespective of the way they see him. The best part about the book was starting with a chapter that is a short biography of his mother, Dolores. Three star because, some of the parts of this book inspired me but author made it look like he was being brutally honest but in the truth he was being stubborn.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Obada Alzghool

    All in all it was a nice read, not much of the book was new to me as I'm a big football fan and already knew much about Ronaldo's life and career as a professional footballer. My biggest takeaway from this book is Ronaldo’s success recipe as discussed here comes down to: Menality -> to be the best in the world, learning -> willingness to learn, emotions -> leave aside, and obsession -> think about it day and night. From these 4 elements, I can’t stop thinking about emotions as an element of success All in all it was a nice read, not much of the book was new to me as I'm a big football fan and already knew much about Ronaldo's life and career as a professional footballer. My biggest takeaway from this book is Ronaldo’s success recipe as discussed here comes down to: Menality -> to be the best in the world, learning -> willingness to learn, emotions -> leave aside, and obsession -> think about it day and night. From these 4 elements, I can’t stop thinking about emotions as an element of success. In my opinion (though theortical) emotions shall be left at home kind of thing, they are the distraction source. I know this sounds controversial and unrealistic, I mean we can’t control our emotions, right? To some extent I agree. But from personal experience, I can tell that big milestones were always easier to go though/ achieve when I ignored my emotions, and the opposite is true! Other nice punchline reminder through the pages was "It's not a linear path to the top, there will be lost battles, so be prepared", I can very much relate to this as I currently go through a tough period where I don't feel my best self, hopefully things will get better again and I regain position!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Temisan

    Cristiano Ronaldo on the ball, Goooooooooal! Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players in the whole entire world. However, Cristiano didn't get to this point without any hardwork. Cristiano was one of those athletes that expireienced humble beginnings. Cristiano grew up in an area in Portugal, called Madiera. He never got to know his dad either. When the author was talking about this expierience, it was one of my favorite parts because it made me think to myself, "Wow, these kids made Cristiano Ronaldo on the ball, Goooooooooal! Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players in the whole entire world. However, Cristiano didn't get to this point without any hardwork. Cristiano was one of those athletes that expireienced humble beginnings. Cristiano grew up in an area in Portugal, called Madiera. He never got to know his dad either. When the author was talking about this expierience, it was one of my favorite parts because it made me think to myself, "Wow, these kids made something out of nothing. If they can make something out of nothing, I can definitly succeed with the resources that I have." I think that people who may be struggling to get to a specific goal in life should read this book. It is a great biography and a great book overall.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Edison Wu

    You know those cringy stories that Luca Caioli writes boldy to undermine the football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo? You should read the Guillem Balague one, the name sounds foreign, yes? No. Balague happens to use perfect english in an innovative and engaging way to describe the many matches, awards, and the history of the Legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, a boy from a poor island called Madeira, and his journey to the incredible soccer player his is today. Do you think I'm biased? Read the first ten p You know those cringy stories that Luca Caioli writes boldy to undermine the football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo? You should read the Guillem Balague one, the name sounds foreign, yes? No. Balague happens to use perfect english in an innovative and engaging way to describe the many matches, awards, and the history of the Legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, a boy from a poor island called Madeira, and his journey to the incredible soccer player his is today. Do you think I'm biased? Read the first ten pages of this book and from Luca Caioli's version and judge me again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    This is my first biography, and if took me a while to accept that when writing someone else's story, it's practically impossible to not include your attitude towards it, and towards the events that happened in that person's life. Once I got round this, I was able to see that this was indeed a well done biography. It told us succinctly about Ronaldo's history, the things outside him that have driven him to become that man he is today, and hypothesised about the things that drive him from within.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Krass

    I think it was the worst book I read in 2017 to be honest. Most of the stuff was just gossip In my opinio. That said I still givi it 2 stars because die hard Ronaldo fans will like it and writing a book itself is a beek undertaking. Also I got 3 character istics what got Ronaldo to be so good at his craft. 1)willing to outwork anybody. 2)believing he is the best 3) smilining and enjoy ing the process.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Interesting biography into Cristiano's upbringing and investigation into the perceived psychological motivation behind his performance. While the book is well written, Balague cannot hide his disdain for the athlete due to his behaviour towards fans, fellow players and Balague himself when writing the book. A more balanced approach with a neutral style would have easily improved this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Ahmed

    To be honest after reading the introduction i sensed that this book couldn't be 100% objective and During all my reading that's what i felt even if the writer tried to be. the 2nd point is that its not complete since it was published in 2015 it is missing Important Moment of Ronlado's life ( Euro 2016 and Zidane Era ) and that's why i prefer Biographies to be written after the End of the Career.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    This is a well written book. Would definitely recommend to the die hard Ronaldo fans. This book gives an insight on Ronaldo's life. It tries to answer the questions like "Why he does what he does?" (Referring to his arrogance or frustrated behaviour on the field when something doesn't go his way). It's a fun read. Would recommend it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ravindra Prasad

    It was a very good insight into the humble origins of the footballing superstar. Any fan of Ronaldo would enjoy this book. It vividly highlights the details behind every thing that we saw on the pitch from Ronaldo and gives a hint to why Ronaldo behaves he way he does on the pitch or why he is the way he is. All in all, a great book with a near perfect level of transparency.

  26. 4 out of 5

    W.S. Long

    Fact intensive read This a fact-intensive read, written in more a journalistic style, then a story-telling side. At times, you sense that the writer considers Cristiano to be entirely narcissistic, and selfish and leaves me the reader to question as to why he wrote this book because he is fairly negative about the subject of this biography.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    To some people Ronaldo is one of if not the world's best footballers. To others he is arrogant, childlike and narcissistic. Which one is true? Obviously both but seeing the journey and the divide is still interesting. a great inside view of some of past, both personal and professional.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aaditya

    This books takes you inside the mind of the living legend. You will understand what his driving force his. How he handles his day to day business and his relationship with his family. A must read for every football fan regardless of the club you support.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura Bradburn

    Huge fan of Guillem and am I irking my way back through all his biographies. Like Pep: Another Way of Winning, he seems to get to the heart of the issues we all want to know about and excellently details the relationships Cristiano has had and how they took him to the top. Top read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Burgoyne

    Clearly well researched and Balague has some fantastic connections in the game, and does for the most part paint a great story of Cristiano. However it is let down sometimes by being scatter brained and not using correct wording, but overall a really good book and I found it very interesting.

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