Biography of Famous Players

Brooke Anderson, A&E Editor

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Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional soccer player (or as they call it everywhere else, football player). He currently plays for the Real Madrid C.F. and Portugal National Football team and has helped capture the championships of many tournaments. According to Biography, Manchester United paid 12 million euros—equivalent to $12,580,680—to sign him in 2003 which was a record fee for a player his age. Then due to his success in the 2004 FA Cup final (scoring Manchester’s first three goals and helping them capture the championship) and his record for most goals scored, Real Madrid paid $131 million for his services.

But that’s not all. Biography added this about Ronaldo, “In addition to his FIFA World Player of the year award, Ronaldo has also won the coveted Ballon d’OR, the Golden Boot, and been named the UEFA Club Forward of the Year, among other honors during the course of his career.” Ronaldo has achieved so much and he’s still succeeding. In 2016, Ronaldo led Portugal to the European Championship final against France where they won their first international trophy.

Not only is Ronaldo an amazing player, he is also an amazing person. Ronaldo’s teammates said that he motivated them as team captain, “He gave us a lot of confidence and he said, ‘Listen people, I’m sure we will win this Euro so stay together and fight for it,’” Cedric Soares said after Portugal’s victory at the European Championship. Ronaldo commented after the game, “this is one of the happiest moments in my career. I’ve always said I wanted to win a trophy with the national team and make history. And I did it.”

To get to this successful spot in his career he had to go through some hardships. Growing up he lived in a largely working class neighborhood in a small tin-roofed home while he watched his father drink himself to his eventual death, and his mother work hard to keep the children fed and maintain some financial stability. Ronaldo found his solitude in the game of football and by the time he was 10 years old he ate, slept and drank the game. His talent only grew from there. When he was 16 years old, Manchester United signed him and that was the beginning of his extraordinary career.

 

Maria Sharapova:

Maria Sharapova is an amazing tennis player who became a professional at a very young age. She was born in Russia and after learning to play tennis as a young child, she moved with her father to Florida, earning a scholarship to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy at age 9. When she was 14 years old, she became a professional and claimed her first WTA victory at the 2003 AIG Japan Open. She also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on her first attempt during the same year.

Success came when she won the 2004 Wimbledon women’s singles title (the first Russian woman to do so). Then at the end of 2004, she added a WTA Championship title to her list of achievements. Also, she became the first Russian woman to ascend to the sport’s top ranking in 2005, and the following year she claimed her second Grand Slam title with a win at the U.S. Open.

Just two years later, Sharapova was slowed down by shoulder problems and underwent surgery and didn’t get to play again until May of 2009. After struggling a little to get back into the game, she didn’t give up and it didn’t take long for her to get back up and into the Top 20 by the end of 2009. Then she really hit her peak after winning a silver medal in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics. But shortly after that she took a break from tennis playing after her shoulder problems starting acting up again. Biography said this about Sharapova, “Regaining momentum [after her short break after the Olympics] in 2014, Sharapova won her second French Open and fifth overall Grand Slam title by defeating Simona Halep. In 2015, she advanced to the Australian Open final and the semifinals of the U.S. Open, before finishing the year ranked No. 4.”

Her career didn’t end its bumpy road then either. In March of 2016, Sharapova announced that she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January. She explained in a press conference that she had been taking this drug for health issues since 2006 and the drug had just recently been put on WADA’s prohibited list in January of that same year. After that she was suspended from playing for two years but in October of 2016 Sharapova appealed her two-year suspension and she won, reducing her punishment to only 15 months which allows her to return to international competition in April of 2017.

Sharapova is a confident individual who had to go through a lot to get where she is now. Quoting Sharapova— “I’m not the next anyone, I’m the first Maria Sharapova.” She doesn’t want to be anyone but herself, and that has been reflected in her tennis career thus far. Though, Sharapova’s career has had a lot of ups and downs, there is no doubt that she will not disappoint when she comes back in April of 2017.

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Biography of Famous Players