Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most decorated athletes of our time. Aside from being one of the best football players of our generation, Ronaldo is also one of the most popular and loved players. Arrogant and cocky sometimes, Ronaldo’s “I’m the best” attitude doesn’t always go down well with everyone, but he backs up his arrogance with his excellence on the football pitch. A Balon D’or winner as a Manchester United player, Ronaldo inspired Portugal to the semifinals of Euro 2012 and won the Spanish La Liga with Real Madrid in 2012.

Here are 12 of the most interesting facts about the Real Madrid and Portugal superstar –

1. Ronaldo was named after former US President, Ronald Reagan, who was greatly admired by Ronaldo’s father. His full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro.

2. Ronaldo’s father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, passed away at the age of 52 due to alcoholism. As a result, Ronaldo does not drink alcohol because drinking it reminds him of the death of his father.

3. Ronaldo played his first game for Sporting Lisbon in the Portugese Super League when he was just 17 years old and soon became one of the most admired young football players in the world. It was a pre-season game between Sporting and United that Ronaldo caught the eye of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who was quick to sign him and offer him the No.7 shirt.

4. As a teenager, he would be in the gym training using weights on either foot, and then dribbling with the ball. Ronaldo thought training with weights would improve his game techniques because without weights, he would be even faster.

5. Ronaldo recently signed a lucrative contract with Real Madrid, making him the highest paid footballer in the world. But there’s a generous side to the Portugese that very few people know about. Ronaldo paid for the cancer treatment of a nine-year-old boy, and regularly donates blood, which is the reason he does not have tattoos.

6. Ronaldo’s freekick speed is around 130 kilometers an hour, which means 31.1 meters per second, more than four times of Apollo 11 rocket’s launching speed which was

7.3 meters per second. Mind-blowing right? 7. Ronaldo is slim but do you know his body has only 10% fat?? Normal catwalk models are known to have 13.8% fat. Amazing.

8. Ronaldo lifts around 23,055 kg of weight during a training session, which is a total of 16 Toyota Prius cars. The guy just continues to amaze us.

9. According to Castrol’s analysis, when Cristiano Ronaldo jumps, he generates five times more power than a Cheetah jumps in a full flight. United fans, remember that towering header at the Bernabeu in February this year?

10. Back to his early days, when Cristiano Ronaldo was a kid, he once hit a teacher with a chair because she made fun of his Madeiran accent. Quite the naughty kid right?

11. Cristiano Ronaldo had gone through a heart operation when he was just 15 years old. Doctors diagnosed and found a heart problem which threatened his football career. However, he went through laser surgery which went through successfully and cured his problem.

12. This is undoubtedly the most amazing story of Cristiano Ronaldo and gives us an insight on how he is really like as a person. Cristiano Ronaldo : “I have to thank my friend Albert Fantrau for my success. We played together for a youth club. When people from Sporting (Lisbon) arrived, they told us that whoever scored more goals would be accepted to their Academy.” “We won that game 3-0, I scored the first goal, the Albert scored a header, and the third was a goal that impressed everyone. Albert went to one on one with the goalkeeper. I was running next to him, he went round the keeper, all he needed to do was just to get the ball into the empty net. But, he passed it to me and I scored. I was accepted to the Academy. After the match, I approached him and asked him “why” and he answered; “You’re better than me”. Several years later, the journalist went to Albert’s house and asked whether the story was true. He confirmed. He also said that his career as a football player finished after that match and he is now unemployed. “But where did you get such a gorgeous house, a car? You seemed to be a rich person. You also maintain your family … .. Where is all this from?.” Albert proudly replied; it’s from Cristiano.

Here are the Top-12 most interesting facts about the Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who continues to entertain the world of Football with his talent and his brilliant displays both on and off the field.