Cristiano Ronaldo Awarded Major Honour as 'Worldwide Symbol of Portugal'

Michael WadeAnalyst IIIJanuary 3, 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo is being honoured by Portugal for his contribution to the country.
Cristiano Ronaldo is being honoured by Portugal for his contribution to the country.Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is to be awarded one of Portugal's highest honours by the country's president.

Anibal Cavaco Silva, who assumed office in March 2006, released a statement on Friday which lauded Ronaldo's achievements at representing the country on the world stage, per Yahoo Sports.

[Ronaldo] is a worldwide symbol of Portugal, making the country better known internationally, and an example of perseverance for younger generations.

As part of the ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday at Lisbon's presidential palace, Ronaldo will be made an official of the Order of Prince Henry and receive a medal and ribbon.

The honour is the latest piece of good news in a remarkable few months for Ronaldo, who helped Portugal to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a magnificent individual display in the two-legged playoff against Sweden, which saw him a score a hat-trick.

The former Manchester United player is also the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or for a second time after being nominated on the three-man shortlist alongside Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery. The winner is to be named on Jan. 13 at a ceremony in Zurich.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti recently stated there can only be one winner:

In December, Ronaldo opened his own museum in Madeira, the island of his birth, which houses over 125 personal awards and has room for more.

Upon opening it, he was quoted by BBC Sport outlining his desire to continue his success:

"It's a special day, I don't want to mention specific ones. All I want is to win more and if the Ballon d'Or comes, there is extra room here," Ronaldo said.

Ronaldo also won ESPN FC's '2013 belonged to...' award, a poll voted for by fans and editorial. He later tweeted his delight at yet another personal honour:

The powerful forward is Portugal's third most-capped footballer with 109 appearances and is currently the country's leading goalscorer alongside Pauleta with 47 goals.