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Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro began his football career in his hometown of Madeira, Portugal.
After starting off with a couple of local clubs, Ronaldo moved to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in 1997 after being spotted and tagged as a gifted boy.
Ronaldo soon became the only player in Sporting's history to play for their under-16, under-17, under-18, B and first teams all at the same time. Then-Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier wanted to snap him up at 16, but the club declined because of his age.
In the summer of 2003, Manchester United played an exhibition match at Sporting's new stadium, and young Ronaldo caught the eyes of the United players and manager alike.
Sir Alex Ferguson immediately made a move for the 18-year-old, and Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford in a deal worth £12 million.
Sir Alex gave Ronaldo the coveted No. 7 jersey, previously worn by greats such as Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. The youngster had some big shoes to fill.
In November that year, young Ronaldo stepped up to take a free kick against Portsmouth. United fans, who had just lost their beloved Beckham, watched with bated breath as the new guy attempted to fill Beckham's shoes.
Ronaldo calmly took his wide-legged stance behind the ball, observed the goal, calculated the angle and the distance, and then shot.
The rest, as they say, is history.