Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Madeira in 1985 and his passion for football began when he was just three years old. His favourite boyhood team was SL Benfica even though he was to later play for their arch rivals, Sporting. By the age of ten Ronaldo's reputation was growing in Portugal, he had been competing in an amateur team for two years but now two of Madeira's top clubs, CS Maritimo and CD Nacional were interested in signing him - he signed with the latter for an undisclosed sum.Ronaldo's performances at the UEFA Under 17 Championship was to catapult him into the global arena where he was spotted by former Liverpool F.C manager, Gerard Houllier. At only 16 Liverpool decided he was too young and needed more time to develop into a top footballer. Two years later he was to catch the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson when Sporting beat Manchester United 3-1. Ronaldo was signed for a fee of GBP 12.24 million.Ronaldo was handed the number 7 shirt on his arrival at Manchester United, a shirt number that has belonged to some of the greatest Manchester United Legends like George Best, Bryan Robson, Erin Cantina and David Beckham. But Cristiano Ronaldo has unquestionably lived up the expectations of the number 7 shirt and has become one of the world's greatest players of all time.