To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Cristiano Ronaldo nearly gave up football due to being 'bullied' as a youngster

Cristiano Ronaldo nearly gave up football due to being 'bullied' as a youngster

The Portugal, Real Madrid and Manchester United legend might have never had his career if he had made a different decision

Cristiano Ronaldo's path to becoming a football legend began with his first move to Manchester United in 2003 - but it might not have happened after the winger was close to giving up football in his early years.

The 38-year-old made the switch from Sporting Lisbon to Old Trafford in the summer of 2003 as an 18-year-old and to replace David Beckham, who had moved to Real Madrid.

Over the next six years, Ronaldo blossomed to become the best player in the world and won every club trophy he could at Old Trafford.

A then world record transfer fee of £80m was paid by Real Madrid in 2009 for the Portuguese international, where he continued to build his legendary status as one of the best to ever grace a football pitch.

Ronaldo later moved to Juventus in 2019, before making an emotional return to Old Trafford with a second spell at United in the summer of 2021.

However, his time at Erik ten Hag's side ended under a cloud last year after an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticised many aspects of the Old Trafford club, which led to his departure and subsequent switch to Saudi Arabia to play for Al Nassr.

But things could have been very different had history taken a different course - as Ronaldo did consider quitting football when he was a young player in the Sporting academy.

Cristiano Ronaldo. (

Ronaldo hails from Madeira, a Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean and, as a result, speaks with a Madeiran accent and it was this which led to bullying problems when he moved to the mainland away from home to play for Sporting in their academy.

The struggles faced during his time in Lisbon were revealed in a book titled ‘Messi vs Ronaldo: One Rivalry, Two GOATs, and the Era That Remade the World’s Game’.

And according to The Sun, the book stated that Ronaldo was contemplating calling him on his career behind it even got going. He was planning to quit during his time as an academy player with Sporting.

The book also revealed that Ronaldo was mocked for his Madeiran accent by the other boys and was crying every day because he was missing his family and friends.

At a young age, Ronaldo often failed to control his emotions and as a result, was involved in multiple bust-ups with other boys.

Eventually, Ronaldo was allowed to quit school and focus on his football. He was later rewarded by being called up to Sporting’s first team and the rest, as they say, is history.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Sporting Lisbon, Sporting CP, Real Madrid, Juventus, Al Nassr