As retired Brazilian football legend Ronaldo turns 44 today, Daily Star Online looks back at some of his maddest moments as one of the most colourful characters in the game from the past 30 years.
Born Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima in the city of Rio de Janeiro, he was talent-spotted at the age of just 13 by former Brazilian star Jairzinho playing futsal.
He signed for local club Cruzeiro at the age of 16, travelled to the World Cup aged just 17, and then moved to Europe where he excelled at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
Ronaldo became the first player to break the world transfer record twice after first joining Barcelona for £15m before moving to Inter Milan the following season for £21m.
Despite recurring injury woes, he went on to score eight goals in a single World Cup as he led Brazil to triumph in 2002, before joining Real Madrid for £35m that same year as part of the famous Galácticos side featuring Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and later English golden boy David Beckham.
In 2007 he joined AC Milan before moving back to Brazil where he finished out his career at Corinthians, retiring in 2011.
Over the course of 18 seasons, he would win almost every trophy going, but his life would also prove to be just as colourful off the pitch as on it.
In April 2008, the then-AC Milan star was caught up in a scandal involving three transvestite prostitutes he had met in a nightclub in Rio.
Ronaldo claimed that when he found the trio were all legally male, he offered them money to leave.
Alisson's brother says Liverpool star 'contributed' to help Reds secure latest transfer
One of the prostitutes then tried to blackmail Ronaldo with claims they had sex and took drugs in a motel room.
Andreia Albertini demanded the equivalent of £15,000 from the striker and threatened to post a video on the internet if he wasn't paid.
But police inspector Carlos Augusto Nogueira later said: "There was no drugs or sex that night."
He added that the three "said that they invented it all because they failed to receive the money they intended as extortion".
In the wake of the scandal, Ronaldo's engagement to his then-fiancée Maria Beatriz Antony was immediately halted, before the couple later got back together again.
What happened to the Fawlty Towers cast – divorced co-stars and sex scandals
Ronaldo has four children including a son Ronald, 19 from his first marriage to Brazilian footballer Milene Domingues.
He has two daughters Maria Sophia, 10, and nine-year-old Maria Alice with his ex Maria Beatriz Antony, as well as a 14-year-old son Alexander from a fling with Michele Umezu, a Brazilian waitress he first met in Tokyo at the World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002.
In 2010, he told reporters he had had a vasectomy to "close the factory" because four children was enough.
But in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year, he revealed he could still have more children because he had frozen some of his sperm.
"I still have some on ice," he said.
"Enough to make a football team."
OnlyFans model would do 'anything for her followers' as she earns £38k-a-week
Ronaldo also drew attention with some questionable fashion choices, not least his bizarre haircut in the 2002 World Cup which saw him shave his head completely except for a small patch at the front.
There must have been a theory behind the dodgy barnet, however, as he went on to lift the World Cup, receiving the Golden Boot after netting eight times.
Despite once saying playing football was "all he wanted to do," Ronaldo has stayed busy off the pitch.
YouTube star in tears as woman from her viral social experiment goes missing
Since hanging up his boots, he has become a professional poker player, and once won £30k at an event in the Bahamas.
He also became a majority owner in Spanish club Real Valladolid in 2018, following a troubled stint at US side Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The now-extinct club in Florida dissolved in 2016 after a poor season which saw players being paid late, cheques bouncing, and attendances plummeting from 12,000 to just 455.
Playboy star dubbed 'sexiest woman in Brazil' insures bum for £147k to 'protect it'
Ronaldo also tried to get involved in motorsports at the tail-end of his career, setting up A1 Team Brazil in 2005 to compete in the now-defunct A1 Grand Prix.
In 1997, before even breaking onto the world stage, Ronaldo appeared in a Brazilian teen soap opera Malhação.
The show, about a fictional gym club, saw the then-20-year-old Ronaldo coach the gym's women's football team.
In one steamy scene, he snogs the club's top striker on camera.
Ronaldo dated actress Susana Werner after meeting on the set.
He married Brazilian footballer Milene Domingues in 1999, but four years later the couple divorced.
Ronaldo later had the chance to test his acting skills in 2008 when he appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons.
In 2005, he became engaged to Brazilian model and MTV journalist Daniela Cicarelli.
After a blowout wedding at a French castle costing an estimated £700,000, the couple parted ways just three months later.
Brazil legend Ronaldo offers Man Utd flop Alexis Sanchez transfer lifeline
Today, Ronaldo continues to work in a number of different ventures, but can also be seen enjoying his retirement.
Last month, he was pictured cosying up to girlfriend Celina Locks on a yacht off the Spanish island of Formentera.
The couple – who have been together for five years – looked to be enjoying each other's company, with Celina wearing a white bikini and Ronaldo in a fetching pair of red swimming trunks.
Source: Read Full Article