Cristiano Ronaldo gives away Ballon d'Or for charity
What's the story?
Cristiano Ronaldo has donated one of his four Ballon d'Or trophies to charity, with the Portuguese superstar's gesture raising £600,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation at an auction - never before has an award of this prestige been donated for an auction.
The trophy in question is a replica that France Football usually provides to the club, with Ronaldo having the all of the originals himself. The auction for the replica was won by Idan Ofer, Israel's richest person, with the proceeds going to the foundation, which gives terminally ill children the chance to fulfill their dreams. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were also a part of the event, raising £30,000.
In case you didn't know...
Cristiano Ronaldo has won four Ballons d'Or in his career, winning his first with Manchester United in 2008 and thereafter with Real Madrid in 2013, 2014 and 2016. He has finished runner-up to Kaka once and to Lionel Messi 4 times, although the Argentinian superstar has won it 5 times with Barcelona. Ronaldo is favourite to win the 2017 Ballon d'Or though, having inspired Real Madrid to their first ever European Cup and La Liga double since 1958.
Ronaldo is a long-term supporter of Make-A-Wish, donating funds and granting wishes to seriously ill children across the world.
The heart of the matter
Ronaldo has specifically donated the replica of the first Ballon d'Or he won with Real Madrid, in 2013. Usually, France Football leaves the decision of the replica down to the player, with most opting to give it to their club, although quite a few of the past winners have kept the replica for themselves as well.
Having won 4, Ronaldo is in a position to donate his replica, although Real Madrid can commission a replica of their own to display in the club's museum. Idan Ofer's winning bid of £600,000 took place in a high-profile auction in London. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola also auctioned off a chance to see a boxing match in Manchester, including a meet-and-greet with both coaches, which raised £30,000 of its own.
While a portion of the €600,000 will go towards the foundation's administrative needs, it will no doubt end up helping make sure that the final wishes of children with life-threatening diseases are met.
Cristiano Ronaldo's charitable gestures have been well publicized in the past, but this one perhaps may be the best one of all. Parting with one of his most cherished ever trophies for a good cause is nothing short of great, and the Portuguese star deserves all the plaudits that come his way for this.