The Portuguese member of Real Madrid is known by fans around the world for his seemingly endless awards and recognitions. His talent is incomparable, and children dream of becoming the next “Cristiano Ronaldo.” His soccer skills are publicized and broadcasted for the whole world to see, but what about his accomplishments off the field and outside the soccer world?
He is a four-time Ballon d’Or and four-time Golden Boot winner in his time as a forward at Real Madrid. During this season, he has surpassed many records including all-time leading scorer in European Cup semi-finals and 400 goals with Real Madrid. In the Club’s most recent fixture against Atlético, he netted a hat trick and surpassed Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano’s 11-goal total all time against Atlético. In this current season, he has appeared in 41 fixtures, scored 35 goals on 185 shots, had nine assists, and played 3,682 minutes. Real Madrid is currently preparing for the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Atlético de Madrid. They are also tied in points for the top spot in La Liga with rival Barcelona.
Outside of his Club-related responsibilities, Ronaldo is very active by involving himself in charities and community relations. He is involved with and supports five charities, including Aid Still Required, Cahonas Scotland, Save the Children, UNICEF, and World Vision. He also supports 11 causes, such as abuse, adoption, fostering, orphans, AIDS & HIV, cancer, children, disaster relief, education, health, human rights, poverty, slavery, & human trafficking.
One of his most highlighted donations was in spring of 2014. “[He] received a request for a donation of football boots and a shirt to help raise $83,000 for a 10-month-old in need of an operation. Ronaldo not only donated the items, but also paid for the operation.” This not only showed the fans that he is a man who values helping others and putting the needs of others above his own, but it also showed that Ronaldo is a good teammate who is not afraid to accept the burdens of his teammates.
Another example of his active charity work was on March 16, 2017 when Ronaldo participated in an event sponsored by Save the Children as their “global artist ambassador,” a role he has held since 2013. One of the fun facts about Ronaldo is that he is constantly changing his hair style, so for his most recent makeover Ronaldo got advice from a Syrian Refugee teen named Omar. Omar participates in “barber training at Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.” Ronaldo posted a photo of himself to his Facebook page with a hashtag and tag for the Save the Children foundation. Omar suggested “fading,” which is a popular hairstyle among the boys in his barber training program, but ultimately he said, “whatever [Cristiano Ronaldo] likes,” as his vision for Ronaldo’s new style.
This most recent interaction comes just three months after Ronaldo’s most public community services. In early January 2017, “Cristiano Ronaldo sends message of hope to Syrian children.” He made an extremely generous donation to those he called the “true heroes” amidst the deteriorating Syrian crisis situation. “The donation will help Save the Children provide much-needed food, clothing, emergency medical care and psychological support to vulnerable children and families who have been living for years under siege and under constant bombardment.” Ronaldo shared this message through a video found on all of his social media accounts. He has been very active throughout this conflict in Syria by “help[ing] keep the focus on the children front and center.” He even shared the hashtag, #Syria, throughout his social media accounts to keep his followers engaged in the efforts.
In October 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo and Abbott, a pharmaceutical company, partnered together in an effort to raise awareness of donating blood. “Cristiano Ronaldo inspires young people to donate blood” is such an important cause because “each year 234 million major operations are performed worldwide, many involving blood transfusions or treatments resulting in a continuous need for donations.” It was through this campaign that Ronaldo became the “first global ambassador for the BE THE 1 movement.” He first began donating blood when he experienced, firsthand, a teammate’s son in desperate need of blood donations. Ever since this encounter, Ronaldo donates regularly. “‘We can all make a difference by donating blood. Each donation can benefit up to three people in emergency room situations and for long-term medical treatments,'” said Ronaldo.
Because of his attitudes and behaviors seen on the field, fans would not imagine that Cristiano Ronaldo would be so involved with charity and community service. He has an overwhelming sense of self-confidence that gives fans the perception that he is very dedicated to his sport and his family and does not have time for other activities.
However, Ronaldo is actively involved especially with the Save the Children organization. He posts through his social media accounts whenever he participates in an event, but it is not necessarily to promote himself. Ronaldo does an excellent job through these posts of making his followers aware of the different causes he supports and other ways that they can also help the cause.
By participating in several charities and causes, Cristiano Ronaldo is building positive media relations with his publics. These actions allow his publics to view him in a different light than they would have if they just knew him based on his performances on the field. It is also important for such a large name within the Real Madrid organization to be active within his community because it helps to shape his image and provide the publics with information that help them relate his values and beliefs with those of his Club.
Because of his “super self-confidence” and flashy personality, fans would normally expect to see Ronaldo’s charity work publicized through every media outlet possible. This is not the case, which helps to build the positive relationship with the Real Madrid public. The Club is known for their quest for excellence and their professionalism, so by not obnoxiously or extensively posting about the good deeds he is doing, Cristiano Ronaldo is aligning with the positive relationship his Club has with their publics.
As an athlete, it is often difficult to dedicate quality time to anything besides the sport during the season. Fans should expect to see more involvement from Cristiano Ronaldo upon conclusion of the 2016-2017 season. Whether his next charity or community service project is with Save the Children, UNICEF, or any of the other causes he is active in, fans can expect the Real Madrid forward to add his own personal touch to it, such as selfies to help kids or donating blood to save lives.