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Cristiano Ronaldo – The man with a golden heart

FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo
I'm the best player in history - in the good and the bad moments. There's no more complete player than me.” said Cristiano Ronaldo, Speaking to France Football after winning his 5th Ballon d'Or in Paris.

Not many will agree with this statement and would label the Portuguese star as "arrogant”. But off the pitch, the Real Madrid Talisman is truly a man with a golden heart

My father always taught me that when you help other people, then God will give you double and that's what has really happened to me. When I have helped other people who are in need, God has helped me more” asserted Ronaldo.

Born into a poor family, Ronaldo overcame many hardships, both financially and physically, to get to the position where he is right now. He has a firm belief that every child has something special and must not suffer due to poverty.

We all know his football field heroics. Let us now take a look at his off-pitch deeds which proves that he has the biggest heart in the football world.


#1 He auctioned his golden boot in 2011 for raising funds for building schools in war-torn Gaza

Ronaldo raised £1.2 million by auction of his 2011 golden boot
Ronaldo raised £1.2 million by auction of his 2011 golden boot

Ronaldo has previously sold most of his sports shoes for charity. But this time he sold something which was very close to his heart.

Ronaldo won his golden boot in 2011. Real Madrid finished second in La Liga and crashed out of UCL semi-final. But instead of keeping this golden boot in his already packed trophy cabinet, Ronaldo decided to auction it through Real Madrid’s charity foundation.

Ronaldo raised a staggering amount of £1.2 million and donated the same for raising funds for building schools in war-torn Gaza.

#2 Cristiano Ronaldo is a regular blood donor and launched #BETHE1DONOR campaign

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It is not just the money, which Cristiano Ronaldo is generating for charity. He has taken blood and bone marrow donation to another level. Ronaldo donates his blood at least twice a year and has teamed up with “Abbott”, who is the global leader in research of infectious diseases and diagnostics.

A movement titled as #BETHE1DONOR has been launched by Ronaldo, along with Abbott, to inspire millions of young people to come up and donate blood.

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Ronaldo teamed up with ABBOTT and launched #BETHE1DONOR campaign for inspiring youths to donate blood
‘We can all make a difference by donating blood. Each donation can benefit up to three people in emergency situations and for long-term medical treatments,’ Ronaldo said.

He first gave blood to his Portugal team-mate Carlos Martins' son who was sick and was in need of blood in 2011.

Reflecting on that time two years later, the forward told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: 'It was the time when Carlos [Martins] was with us on the national team.
‘He told us about the problem with his son and we, the players, showed great unity to help him and his son because we knew it was a very complicated situation.’
‘[Donating bone marrow] is something a lot of people think is a difficult thing to do but it's nothing more than drawing blood and doesn't hurt.’
‘I did it many years ago and if I had to do it again I would because this is a very serious disease for many children and we need to help them.’

Since then, Ronaldo regularly donates blood and avoids any activity which might prevent him from donating blood temporarily such as having tattoos.

‘I don't have tattoos because I donate blood very often’ he told the Diretta News in 2012.

People with tattoos can donate blood but are not able to do so immediately after getting new ink to reduce the risk of infection.

#3 Ronaldo donated his earned bonus to various charitable organisations across the globe

Ronaldo with a cheque of €100,000 for Red Cross
Ronaldo with a cheque of €100,000 for Red Cross

Ronaldo has also been very generous about giving up money earned from his exceptional performances on the pitch. In 2013, he was named in the UEFA Team of the Year - earning a €100,000 (£89,000) bonus from the European governing body. Instead of cashing on the cheque himself, Ronaldo decided to donate it to Red Cross.

A year later, the Portuguese star led Real Madrid to La Decima, their tenth Champions League victory, and picked up a £450,000 bonus from Los Blancos. But Ronaldo again decided against cashing in the money, instead, sharing it among the three charities, Unicef, World Vision and Save the Children. Rightly aware of his struggles as a kid, Cristiano Ronaldo has a dream that every kid on the planet must get access to basic needs like food, shelter, education.

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Ronaldo supporting Save the Children

Ronaldo is an ambassador for three major charities: Save the Children, Unicef and World Vision, and has spoken up for countless more. He continues to use his global platform to support charity for children.

Ronaldo recorded a message to the children affected by the Syrian conflict, calling them "true heroes" and stating "I am with you".

He also made a secret donation for orphans in Syria through Save the Children charitable organisation.

#4 Ronaldo sold the replica of his 2013 Ballon d’Or and raised £530,000 for Make-A Wish Foundation.

Ronaldo donated his 2013 Ballon d’Or award and raised a staggering £530,000 for Make-A Wish Foundation
Ronaldo donated his 2013 Ballon d’Or award and raised a staggering £530,000 for Make-A Wish Foundation

After being voted as the most charitable athlete in the world in 2015 (Dosomething.org), Ronaldo repeated the trick of selling one of his trophies for charity.

Ronaldo donated the replica of his 2013 Ballon d'Or award in London auction at the Dorchester Hotel, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is a charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

His 2013 award is the one that means the most to him, as it ended a run of four consecutive years of his great rival Lionel Messi picking up the award. Ronaldo has also won this award in 2008, 2014, 2016 and 2017 apart from 2013.

#5 Ronaldo helped his young fans who were suffering from life-threatening diseases by paying all their medical bills.

Ronaldo paid £55,000 for surgery to help ten-month old Erik Ortiz Cruz beat a brain condition
Ronaldo paid £55,000 for surgery to help ten-month-old Erik Ortiz Cruz beat a brain condition

In 2014, the mother of a young fan, ten-month-old Erik Ortiz Cruz, asked Ronaldo to donate a shirt to the boy, who had cortical dysplasia.

The brain abnormality causes up to 30 seizures a day.

After hearing the full story Ronaldo paid £55,000 for initial brain surgery and pledged to cover the cost of any follow-up treatment - although none has so far been needed.

Ronaldo paid the medical bill at an expensive private medical centre for terminally ill Nuhuzet Guillen
Ronaldo paid the medical bill at an expensive private medical centre for terminally ill Nuhuzet Guillen

Ronaldo was alerted to the story of Nuhuzet Guillen, a nine-year-old with terminal cancer in 2009.

Ronaldo invited his young fan to his house for dinner. After speaking with his father, Ronaldo learned there was not much that could be done, although there was experimental treatment available in the US, which the star paid for.

When Nuhuzet's condition worsened, Ronaldo offered to pay for all of his medication, costing hundreds of thousands, and treatment at a private medical centre.

Ronaldo paid that for more than a year until the boy sadly passed away in March 2013.

Ronaldo also donated £120,000 to the care centre in Portugal which helped his mother to beat breast cancer in 2007.

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Edited by Brett Shaw
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