Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth: 5 February 1985
Place of birth: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position: Forward / Winger
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on 5 February 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and José Dinis Aveiro. His second given name, "Ronaldo," was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favourite actor. He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia. Early career Ronaldo's favourite boyhood team was Benfica. At the age of eight, he played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man. In 1995, Ronaldo signed with local club Nacional, and after a title-winning campaign, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who subsequently signed him for an undisclosed sum.Ronaldo joined Sporting's other youth players who trained at the Alcochete, the club's football academy. He became the only player ever to play for Sporting's U-16, U-17, U-18, B-team, and first team, all within one season. He scored two goals in his Sporting debut against Moreirense, while featuring for Portugal in the UEFA Under 17 Championships. When he was 15, Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that might have forced him to give up playing football. The Sporting staff were made aware of the condition and Ronaldo's mother gave her authorisation for him to go into hospital. While there, he had an operation in which a laser was used to cauterise the area of his heart that was causing the problem. The surgery took place in the morning and Ronaldo was discharged from hospital by the end of the afternoon; he resumed training only a few days later.He was first spotted by then-Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier at sixteen, but Liverpool declined to take him on because they decided he was too young and needed some time to develop his skills.However, he came to the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting defeated United 3–1 in the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Ronaldo's performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him.