A Dark Childhood in a Poverty-Stricken Fishing Village
Cristiano Ronaldo, the second richest male player in the world, owes much of his success to his mother, Maria Dolores Spinola Do Santos da Aveiro. Born on December 31, 1954, in the impoverished fishing port of Canical on the island of Madeira, Dolores endured a challenging upbringing.
At the tender age of 37, Dolores lost her mother to a heart attack, leaving behind five children and an irresponsible husband. Dolores’ father, Viveiro, struggled to provide a stable income, focusing his love and attention on just one of his children. The remaining four, including Dolores, were sent to a local convent, where she experienced a lonely and painful existence. Constantly yearning for her parents, Dolores also endured harsh punishments such as physical beatings, hours of labor under the sun, and even having her head covered with a sack.
Despite attempting to escape the convent twice, Dolores was unsuccessful. Regrettably, the convent authorities labeled her as rebellious and mentally abnormal.
Eventually, at the age of 9, Dolores was reunited with her family. However, her return only exposed her to further abuse. Her father had remarried, and she suffered physical beatings from both her father and stepmother. Dolores made numerous attempts to run away from home, only to be apprehended by the police. Her father and stepmother were unsympathetic and even attempted to send her to a center for children with intellectual disabilities. Fortunately, the center recognized Dolores as a perfectly normal child and refused to accept her.
At the age of 13, Dolores was expelled from school and forced to stay at home to help support her family. Every day, she woke up at 5 am to weave baskets, which she then sold at the market. However, all the money she earned was seized by her stepmother. Frustrated with her humiliating circumstances, Dolores constantly sought a way out.
The Strength of a Great Mother
When Dolores was 18, she married Jose Dinis Aveiro, Ronaldo’s father. By the time she was 22, she had already given birth to three children. However, it was the birth of Ronaldo in 1985 that marked a turning point for the family. Dolores revealed in her autobiography, “Mother Courage,” published in 2014, that she initially contemplated getting an abortion. Eventually, she decided to keep the child.
To support her growing family and an alcoholic husband, Dolores and her daughter worked as kitchen assistants, toiling long hours for meager wages. Ronaldo, the youngest member of the family, accompanied his mother throughout her workday.
Despite being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, Ronaldo’s passion for soccer burned brightly. He would turn anything into a soccer ball, and his resourcefulness in finding ways to play with his makeshift “balls” was remarkable.
In the evenings, after a long day’s work, Dolores would set aside a small portion of the family’s earnings to save and buy a proper soccer ball for her son. She vividly recalls the joy in Ronaldo’s eyes whenever he received this precious gift.
Though she lacked knowledge about the sport, Dolores wholeheartedly supported Cristiano’s soccer aspirations. She took on all the household chores so that her son could devote all his time to his passion.
Even after Ronaldo got married and started his own family, Dolores continued to take care of him and his small family. Without her silent and selfless sacrifices, it is uncertain whether Ronaldo would have achieved the success he enjoys today.
To express his gratitude, Ronaldo ensures that his mother is always by his side. He takes her on lavish journeys aboard his private jet, showers her with extravagant gifts, and even covers the cost of regular trips for her and her friends to Cape Verde. Ronaldo once purchased a car worth £100,000 for his mother, and she later posed with another brand new car worth £250,000. Not to mention the designer items he gifts her from the world’s leading fashion stores.
Ronaldo’s unwavering devotion to his mother is a testament to the unbreakable bond they share. No amount of wealth can compare to the true riches found in gratitude for life’s gifts and blessings.
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