Cristiano Ronaldo | india | Hindustan Times
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Cristiano Ronaldo

His strong personality allied to his dribbling skills and ability to score spectacular goals make Cristiano Ronaldo a crowd pleaser. He's technically superb and has great pace, power and balance.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 19:51 IST

 Current Club: Manchester United FC
 Birth Date: February 5, 1985
 Birth Place: Funchal, Portugal
 Nickname: Ronaldo, Ronnie, Twinkle Toes, Step Over King
 Height: 184 cm
 Weight: 78 kg
 Position: Attacking Midfielder, Winger
 Full Name: Cristiano Ronaldo Santos Aveiro

Able to play on both sides of the pitch, he attracted the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting Lisbon beat Manchester United 3–1 in the inauguration of the Alvalade XXI stadium. After the match, United's players spoke enthusiastically of the young talent that they had just played against, saying they would rather have him in their team than play against him in the future.

That was enough for Ferguson to decide that he wanted the youngster for his team, who were in the market for a right-sided midfielder; he signed him for £12.24 million after recently completing the transfer of David Beckham out of the club

Since his move to the famous English club, Ronaldo has earned equal amounts of praise and criticism for his flashy style of play and dribbling skills. He has played primarily as a winger for United and his ability to play on either wing makes him pretty versatile. He demonstrated these qualities at the 2004 FA Cup final in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, in which he starred, scoring the first goal in United's 3–0 win over Millwall.

Ronaldo made his international debut in August 2003, against Kazakhstan. He scored Portugal's only goal in their 2–1 loss to Greece in the opening match of Euro 2004 and the first goal of the semi final against the Netherlands, which Portugal won 2–1.

The final saw a rematch of the opening game of the tournament and again, Greece emerged victorious. The tournament ended in failure for Ronaldo and Portugal, and has been followed by a persistent failure to fulfill his obvious potential.

So far, for all his skill and pace, Ronaldo has proved far too inconsistent. There is continual debate and critical scrutiny as to Cristiano Ronaldo's style of play.

Ronaldo will now be hoping to play a key part in Portugal's World Cup this summer, where he will link up with legends such as Figo, and other bright stars such as Joao Moutinho and Manuel Fernandes.