Great fame in any walk of life can bring all kinds of problems to a person, most notably all kinds of ridiculous stories leaking out into the media. Whether or not they’re true often doesn’t matter, as newspapers and websites will literally do anything to get more people reading their content.
As the world’s most famous footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo is no exception. While his exploits on the pitch are well-documented, so are his actions off the pitch – and while he’s quite happy to sell his range of underwear and aftershave, and strut around in flashy clothes, he probably isn’t quite so happy to read some of the nonsense posted or printed about him.
Here are five classic ridiculous stories linked to the Portuguese superstar.
1 He does 3000 sit-ups a day to tone his abs
With his toned abs and rippling muscles, Cristiano Ronaldo’s physique is the envy of most other professional athletes, let alone the general population. And so it’s no surprise that the man himself loves to show it off, ripping his shirt off on the pitch on multiple occasions to perform that notorious flexing celebration. But how exactly does he keep his body in such good shape?
Well, according to British tabloids in 2009, Ronaldo keeps his six-pack honed by doing 3000 sit-ups a day. Quite where this piece of ridiculous information came from I don’t know, as anyone with knowledge of bodybuilding would be able to tell you that you get six-pack abs through low bodyfat, a good diet, cardio and a strong core – as well as good genetics – and Ronaldo clearly has all five going for him.
Unsurprisingly, the man himself laughed off this report, stating that while he trains in the gym three or four times a week, he manages perhaps 1000 sit-ups a week, nothing close to 3000 a day. Whether he actually uses that ab-sculpting belt that you see him advertising on TV however, remains a total mystery.
2 He was in a homosexual relationship with Badr Hari
Despite rumours linking CR7 with numerous models and beauties over the years – as well as a couple of sleazy kiss-and-tell stories leaking out into the media – there are still people who believe that the Portuguese star is a closet homosexual. While this is most likely nonsense driven by Ronaldo’s flamboyant dress sense and “metrosexual” grooming habits, late 2015 saw one of the most ridiculous stories yet leak into the media.
3 He’s got a nasty nickname for Lionel Messi
The truth behind the relationship between Cristiano Ronaldo and the man who rivals him as the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, remains shrouded by rumours and questions. The two men have never truly aimed insults at one another and seem to have a healthy professional respect, even if they clearly want to out-do each other on the pitch.
In 2014, however, famous football journalist Guillem Balague reported different. In his book about Messi, he claimed that Ronaldo wouldn’t even speak his name and had instead nicknamed the Argentine star “mother*cker”, and used the same slur to describe any Real Madrid teammates seen speaking to him.
4 He’s had a ton of plastic surgery
Few people would deny that Ronaldo is one of the vainest sportsmen around right now, and he’s perhaps the vainest footballer in the history of the game. But has he really had plastic surgery to enhance his looks? In all honesty, despite a ton of reports claiming this – some almost making him out to be football’s Michael Jackson – there’s literally no evidence to suggest he has.
5 He had his lawyers pay off a rape accusation
The majority of the ridiculous stories on this list have been light-hearted, but this one certainly isn’t. It was reported in 2017 by a German publication that in 2009, Ronaldo had been accused by an American woman of rape, and that after a meeting between the lawyers of the two parties following the allegations, the accuser agreed to drop all charges against the Real Madrid star for an out-of-court payment of $375,000. The report alleged that they knew the identity of the woman who accused Ronaldo of the crime, but she was still keeping her silence following the payoff.