Cristiano Ronaldo has always wanted to be a footballer, always wanted to be the greatest, but surely not even he could have envisaged the immense success he would go on to enjoy during his illustrious career.
The Portuguese was raised by a modest family in Funchal, Madeira, and joined Sporting Lisbon’s youth academy as a youngster during the late 1990s.
Prior to joining Sporting he spent time in the youth academies of Andorinha and Nacional.
It was at Andorinha, where Ronaldo began learning his trade between 1992 and 1995, that Cristiano earned his first nickname in football.
But it’s safe to assume it’s a nickname he wouldn’t have been particularly fond of at the time.
Ronaldo's first nickname in football revealed
"We were eight, nine years old," Ronaldo’s former teammate Ricardo Santos, now the coach of Andorinha, told Goal. "And at that time, Cristiano Ronaldo was already a great player.
"What I remember about him is that he was a humble kid. And when he didn’t have the ball, he cried. When the team-mates fought, he cried. But he was already a good player. He was faster than average, he already scored a lot of goals and he had great dribbling skills."
"Cristiano really liked winning," Santos added. "When that didn’t happen, Ronaldo cried. So much so that he had the nickname 'crybaby'."
Ronaldo still cries from time to time - but who doesn't?
Ronaldo didn’t completely kick the crying habit as he got older.
As this video shows, he still sheds tears from time to time - and why not, eh? He’s only human, after all.
Ronaldo soon earned himself another nickname
Fortunately for the young Ronaldo, he earned himself a more complimentary nickname thanks to his eye-catching performances.
"I don't remember exactly how many he scored, but he was almost always our best scorer," Santos added. "I remember a game back then that we played in Camara de Lobos. We were winning 3-0, Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured and we lost 4-3."
And he added: "Ronaldo was called 'abelhinha' (little bee) because he was small and he was very quick, so we called him 'abelhinha'."
Ronaldo: The best European player of all time?
Ronaldo, who looks set to win his fourth Ballon d’Or in the coming months, scored his 66th and 67th international goals for Portugal against Latvia on Sunday night.
Only three European players in history have now scored more international goals than Ronaldo: Miroslav Klose (71), Sandor Kocsis (75) and Ferenc Puskas (84).
Is Cristiano Ronaldo the greatest European player of all time? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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