The rags-to-riches story of “love at first sight”, after a chance meeting, is the stuff dreams are made of.
Born in Madeira in 1985, Ronaldo is one of the world’s most famous and talented footballers, with a career spanning 19 years to date and an estimated net worth of £363 million. Now aged 36, he signed a new deal with Premier League club Manchester United at the start of the current season.
He originally played for the club from 2003 to 2009, making 196 appearances and scoring 84 goals. After leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2009, he returned to the Premier League title-chasers this year, after a deal was struck with his most recent club, the Italian Serie A giants, Juventus.
Ronaldo has won a staggering 32 trophies including five Ballon d’Or awards, four European Golden Shoes, five UEFA Champions Leagues, seven league titles, one UEFA Nations League and one UEFA European Championship. He holds the record for 134 goals and 42 assists in the Champions League.
As one of a handful of players who have made more than 1,100 professional career appearances, he has scored more than 780 senior career goals for his national team and his clubs. His return to Manchester United has been greeted with euphoria by the fans – and deservedly so, as he has got off to a flying start.
Ronaldo’s personal life
Ronaldo has always tried to keep his personal life extremely private. He had his first child, a son, Cristiano Jnr, in June 2010, in the United States. He didn’t reveal the mother’s identity but said he had full custody of the child.
He became father to twins, son Mateo and daughter Eva, on 8th June 2017. It was widely reported they were born via surrogacy.
Despite being a superstar footballer, he has never been one for living a party lifestyle. His father, José, reportedly died of an alcohol-related liver problem when aged just 52, in September 2005. Ronaldo was 20 at the time and has frequently said he never drinks alcohol. He has kept himself at peak fitness and lives a clean lifestyle, donating blood and bone marrow regularly.
A great philanthropist, he supports multiple charities and worthy causes. He donated £5 million to the relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015, which killed more than 8,000 people, making him the world’s most charitable sportsperson at the time.
When did Cristiano meet Georgina?
Back in 2016, Georgina Rodriguez was a 22-year-old sales assistant, reportedly earning £250 a week working at the Gucci store in Madrid. She came from a humble background, having grown up in the Spanish village of Jaca. Her Argentinian father, Jorge, was a former footballer, while her mother, Ana, was Spanish.
As a child, Rodriguez wanted to be a ballet dancer, but her parents didn’t have enough money to send her to dance school, so she decided to aim for a career in fashion retail instead. She moved to a small town, Huesca, about an hour away from Jaca, taking her first job as a waitress.
She then moved to coastal town, San Sebastian, where she got her first retail job in Massimo Dutti. To further her career, she wanted to learn English, so she made a big move to England in 2012, aged only 17, to work as an au pair in Bristol, where she learned English.
After moving back to Spain, she found work in high-end retail in Madrid, at the Gucci store. While working there in 2016, she caught Ronaldo’s eye. She later described it as “love at first sight” for both of them. They met for a second time a few days later at a fashion event, where they were able to talk and relax.
In an interview with ITV in 2019, Ronaldo, now 36, described finding “true love” with Georgina after the pair met for the first time at the Gucci store. He said he would marry her “for sure” and became emotional when he told Piers Morgan, “Of course I’m in love with her.”
How did their relationship progress?
They kept their blossoming relationship secret at first, but once the news leaked to the media that they were dating, football fans began arriving at Rodriguez’s workplace. They had been spotted together at Disneyland in Paris, France, despite Ronaldo wearing a disguise.
The Italian press “outed” their relationship. Rodriguez’s employer feared the number of football fans turning up at the store would deter clientele from going in and she was dismissed from Gucci in December 2016, after only eight months.
She found another job at fashion store, Prada, in El Corte Ingles, but her relationship with Ronaldo led to her losing her job a second time. Fans kept going into the shop in the hope of bumping into Ronaldo and asked Rodriguez for “selfies” continually. Press photographers were also hanging around all the time.
After a relatively short time, the employer and Rodriguez mutually agreed she should leave, as her high-profile relationship was making it impossible for her to work.
Family life and parenthood
In November 2017, she gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Alana Martina. Today, Rodriguez looks after their four children, having lived in Turin, Italy, until Ronaldo’s recent move to Manchester United. She has become one of the world’s most famous WAGs, enjoying the luxury lifestyle most people can only dream of.
She remains very level-headed and says she has always been “mature” and is happy about raising four children at a relatively young age. She says, “I can no longer imagine my life without my children. We’re happier together than ever.”
The couple travel in their £18 million private plane, enjoy sailing on their luxury yacht and have a collection of luxury sports cars, such as Ronaldo’s Bugatti Veyron.
Rodriguez doesn’t want to be perceived as a typical WAG, spending her husband’s money. She studied financial accounting at the Centre for Financial Studies in Madrid from 2017-18, learning about tax matters, wealth management and legal obligation.
Reportedly interested in helping manage the family’s financial affairs, she said in an interview, “I loved earning money for myself.”
The family has just moved into a seven-bedroom mansion with a swimming pool, gym and cinema since Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United, according to media reports.