YOU can take the boy out of Portugal, but you can’t take Portugal out of the boy.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, last year sensationally revealed his desire to return to Sporting Lisbon – where it all began for him – before he retires.
The wantaway Manchester United star wants to leave Old Trafford for a team capable of winning the biggest trophies this summer, but Lisbon will always be where his heart is.
“I will definitely retire at Sporting Lisbon. I have to give them even if it is one season of my service,” he said.
“Absolutely not in Manchester. Sporting Lisbon scouted me while no one saw something special in me.
“They made me and Manchester United polished me, Madrid completed me and (I) am independently developed at Juventus.
“I love all my former football clubs for what they did for me, but the beginning is always the light, without Sporting Lisbon I would probably be working at McDonald’s, because McDonald’s is the place where I used to get help for food when I had nothing to eat. I am always grateful.”
Ronaldo, who was born in Madeira, has always had a fondness for his homeland – and in 2020 donated life-saving equipment to Portuguese hospitals to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
His family, including mum Maria Dolores, brother Hugo and sisters Katia and Elma would be delighted to see him return.
And they’re not the only members of his massive family tree.
Ronaldo has made no secret of his heartbreak of losing his father before he could see him become a global superstar.
Jose Dinis died in 2005 of liver failure, when the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was just 20, at a hospital in London.
Forced into military service, he was scarred by an unpopular war to prevent the colony of Angola winning its independence from Portugal.
According to reports, he turned to booze – later becoming a kit man for Ronaldo’s local team.
The matriarch of the Ronaldo clan, Maria Dolores is her son’s biggest supporter.
Regularly, she appears on social media with Cristiano celebrating one of his many achievements.
In 2020, Ronaldo’s world was rocked when his beloved mother suffered a stroke in Madeira.
He rushed to be by her side, and made sure she received incredible medical care.
Like his father, Ronaldo’s brother has also battled his demons.
Hugo, himself, has had problems with alcohol and has had stints in rehab to manage his addictions.
Ronaldo has made sure he’s been there for his brother – paying for him get the help needed from professionals.
To give him a distraction, Cristiano also gave him the responsibility of looking after his museum in Madeira.
Eldest sister Elma is the fashionista of the family.
She regularly posts images on Instagram wearing designer clobber, and even designed her own jewellery range inspired by her mum called Roya.
Katia is a singer, who has aspirations to perform at Eurovision Song Contest.
In 2020, she caused controversy when she went on an Instagram rant calling the coronavirus pandemic “the biggest fraud I’ve seen”, following the news Ronaldo tested positive for Covid-19 and would have sit out some games.
Ronaldo was rocked by the tragic news that his baby boy had passed away during birth earlier this year.
The superstar and partner Georgina Rodriguez were left devastated – but were given strength by the birth of their baby boy’s twin sister, Bella.
In a statement, they said: “It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel.
“Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.
“Baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you.”
His first born was Cristiano Jr, who is now 12 years old, to a surrogate mother in the US who made the ex-Real Madrid star the sole guardian.
A keen footballer like his dad, and on Juve’s books, he has also been seen modelling his father’s fashion range, CR7.
In 2017, Ronaldo welcomed twins Eva Maria and Mateo into his world.
Again, they were born in the US – reportedly to a Californian surrogate. The Daily Mail reported that the babies were conceived via frozen embryos in a surrogacy clinic.
The same year Ronaldo welcomed Eva Maria and Mateo into the world, it was revealed his partner Georgina was expecting their first child together.
Five months after the twins were born, Alana Martina came into the world.
Proud Ronaldo shared the news with a picture of Georgina, the newborn and Cristiano Jr with the new arrival on social media.
Ronaldo’s partner Georgina has become a celebrity in her own right since she began dating the football superstar.
They reportedly met at a Gucci store in Madrid in 2016, where she was a sales assistant, and made their romance official in 2017 during a trip to Disneyland Paris.
Since then, Georgina has helped Ronaldo raise his three children, before they welcomed their own.
She has gone to become a model for fashion brands, including inking a five-figure Instagram deal with Pretty Little Thing.
While not much is known about Georgina’s mum Ana Maria, her father Jorge is a convicted drug trafficker.
The Argentinian criminal has spent a decade of his life behind bars.
In 2003, he was sentenced to 11 years for masterminding a failed plot to smuggle more than £100,000 worth of 83 percent pure cocaine from Spain to France.
He was released five years later, only to fall foul of the law for smuggling £1million of cannabis resin from Morocco to Spain with accomplices.
Jorge was sentenced to a further two years, and was freed in 2013.
In 2019, he died in his native Argentina at the age of 70 after a long illness.
Georgina has a sister called Ivana.
Incredibly, Ivana has over 350,000 followers on Instagram, who she shares health and beauty tips with.
And like her sibling, she often shares pictures of herself working out to keep in shape.
There’s also a lot of love for Ronaldo on Ivana’s Insta feed, who shows her admiration for her future brother-in-law.
If he signs for Sporting Lisbon, expect to hear from Ivana too.