• Faith: Christian - Catholic
  • Career: Athlete
  • Birthday:  September 22, 1976

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a striker. He's the owner of Brasileiro Serie A club Cruzeiro and owner and president of Segunda Division club Real Valladolid. Nicknamed R9 and "The Phenomenon," he's considered one of the greatest players of all time. As a multi-functional striker who brought a new dimension to the position, Ronaldo has been an influence on a generation of strikers that have followed.

His accolades include being named FIFA World Player of the Year three times and winning two Ballon d'Or awards. Ronaldo started his career at Cruzeiro and moved to PSV in 1994. In 1996, he joined Barcelona for a then-world-record transfer fee. At 20 years old, he was named the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year, making him the youngest recipient of the award. In 1997, Inter Milan broke the world record fee to sign Ronaldo, making him the first player since Diego Maradona to break the world transfer record twice. At 21, he received the 1997 Ballon d'Or and remains the youngest recipient of the award.

By the time he was 23, Ronaldo had scored over 200 goals for club and country. However, after a series of knee injuries and recovery, he was inactive for almost three years. He joined Real Madrid in 2002 and won the 2002-2003 La Liga title. He had spells at AC Milan and Corinthians before retiring in 2011, having suffered further injuries. Ronaldo played for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 goals and is the third-highest goalscorer for his national team. At 17, he was the youngest member of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, he received the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament after helping Brazil reach the final, where he suffered a convulsive fit hours before kick-off.

He won the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starring in a front three with Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. He scored twice in the final and received the Golden Boot as the tournament's top goal scorer. This achievement, viewed as "redemption" for what happened at the previous World Cup, saw Ronaldo named the 2002 FIFA World Cup Player of the Year, receive the 2002 Ballon d'Or, and, for his return from injury, won the Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he scored his 15th World Cup goal, a tournament record at the time. He also won the 1997 Copa America, where he became the player of the tournament and was the top goal scorer.

What religion is Ronaldo?

Ronaldo is a practicing Catholic. In September 2023, the Brazilian soccer legend was baptized. In an Instagram post announcing his baptism, he wrote, "The Christian faith has always been a fundamental part of my life since childhood, although I had not yet been baptized. With the sacrament, I feel truly regenerated as a child of God - in a new, more aware, deeper way."

He continued, "I renew my commitment to follow the way of good, free and spontaneous will, believing in the love of Jesus, in charity love. Thank you very much, Fabio de Melo, church of Sao Jose, father Dom Oswaldo and dear godparents Amilcar and Malu."

Back to the Celebrity Faith Database

The Celeb-O-Matic knows! Find out which celebrity your beliefs match up to.

take the quiz now ›
Close Ad