Thursday, October 27, 2016

One Man Makes A Difference

It’s interesting how we know some celebrities by only their first or last name or even their initials. I mention any of the following first names or nicknames chances are you know who I’m talking about: LeBron; Magic; Madonna; Bruce; Donald; Hilary. If I mention these last names, I’m betting you will know who they are right off: Jobs; Jordan; Favre; Messi; Montana; Manning.

How does it happen that a person can be that well-known and famous that they are recognized by only a first or last name, or in some cases, a nickname?  

So . . . without using the Internet or Googling the answer, if I give you one man’s accomplishments, are you able to tell me who this is: 4 golden shoes and 3 golden soccer balls? Would it help if I tell you that he is generous, gives his time and his money freely to those who need help, especially to children?

Ronaldo Cristiano is a famous soccer player, and some consider him to be one of the two or three best in the world. He was born and raised on the Portuguese island Madeira. That little island was devastated by severe wildfires that had claimed the lives of 3 people, injured many, and destroyed many homes. Two days after the start of the wildfires, Ronaldo offered the island an undisclosed amount of financial aid to help people recover from this disaster. Pretty selfless, right?

Right after winning the UEFA Champions league with Real Madrid, Ronaldo received a bonus of €600.000. Ronaldo made it public that he donated this large bonus to a charity. Quite a chunk of money!

Cristiano grew up in one of the poorest areas of Funcha, which is the capital of Madeira. His father was a gardener and his mother a cook. He started playing soccer at the age of 9, and because his dad cleaned the locker rooms for a bit of extra money, his teammates made fun of him. Being made fun of didn’t deter Ronaldo’s love for the game.

By himself at age eleven, Cristiano moved to Portugal to join the SCP. When he was fourteen, his dad became an alcoholic and his brother struggled with addiction. His father died when Cristiano was just 20 and as a consequence, he refrains from drinking alcohol, and he now supports his brother.

Cristiano has helped many people, especially children. Ronaldo was asked to donate a shirt to raise funds for an operation for an eleven month old. But he did one better. He donated a shirt, but he also paid for the complete operation

In 2005, Cristiano visited a young Indonesian tsunami survivor. He raised funds and paid for the education of the young boy, Martunis. Now, eleven years later, Martunis was signed by Cristiano’s old soccer club, Sporting Lisbon.

Cristiano felt the need to help rebuild schools in Gaza and for that effort he donated one of his golden shoes for over 1.5 million euros.

There is one last piece of information I want you to know about. Cristiano doesn’t have a single tattoo, because he is a regular blood donor. Pretty remarkable that someone this famous takes the time to donate his own blood.

I’ve been around and enjoyed sports all my life. Some I enjoy more than others. I appreciate the hard work, the effort, the persistence it takes for an athlete to achieve at any level. Yet, in the athletic world of self-aggrandizement, self-promotion, the more-me-than-I attitudes, it is refreshing to find an athlete, a caring individual, like Ronaldo Cristiano. His stated and lived philosophy is similar to one that I’ve been preaching over and over in my writing: “I’m not going to change the world, you are not going to change the world, but we can help. We can all help.” Isn’t that the truth? And it is definitely something to think about . . .

For a short video clip of the Ronaldo Cristiano story, you can click

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out what other readers have said about my novels.
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