Cristiano Ronaldo has not always been the world’s highest-paid athlete with a net worth of $460 million
- he worked tirelessly to achieve his current status, a feat which may be even more admirable than his immense range of soccer skills.
Ronaldo was born into an impoverished family as the youngest of four children, having to share a room with all of his siblings
. He began his soccer career as a child, playing in crowded streets without any goals
. His first official team was Andorinha
, an amateur team for which his father was a kit man; he quickly moved up the ranks, however, and attended professional club Sporting CPs’ youth academy in 1997
. After being expelled from school, Ronaldo and his mother decided that he should pursue a professional career as a soccer player
. Eventually, his upward climb resulted in him reaching the highest level of professional soccer.
At the age of 15, Ronaldo was diagnosed with a heart condition known as tachycardia, which results in a faster-than-normal resting heart rate and can lead to a multitude of other health issues. His mother was concerned that his racing heart could have been the end of his career, but Ronaldo received surgery and resumed training only several days afterwards
Ronaldo’s incredible ambition and work ethic can also be seen in the strict fitness regimen and diet that he abides by. It has been reported that he trains for 3-4 hours for the majority of the week
. Despite his extensive training, he also has a long list of injuries sustained both on and off the field. None of these injuries, however, have kept him off of his feet for more than several months
Despite his humble beginnings, lack of education, and health problems, Ronaldo has built a seemingly endless list of achievements, including 300 trophies and medals won
, 725 goals scored 
, and several world records broken
. While talent was certainly a factor when it came to establishing the career of one of the world’s greatest athletes, Ronaldo would not have been able to achieve all he has without his drive to succeed.