Here's Who Cristiano Ronaldo Credits For His Big Break

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest soccer stars of all-time, and along with Lionel Messi is one of the top two players of his generation (via The Week). A legend for both Manchester United and Real Madrid, the Portuguese forward grew up on the island of Madeira, before moving to the capital as a pre-teen and joining Sporting Lisbon (via Manchester Evening News), one of the most decorated clubs in the country. 

As a teenager, he was diagnosed with a racing heart — something that could have jeopardized his soccer future — but he underwent surgery and was able to resume playing soccer. We know what happened afterwards, of course, but who is responsible for the athlete's big break? Many people have helped Ronaldo get to where he is today, from former Man United manager Alex Ferguson (via Talksport) to Portugal soccer icon Luis Figo (via Sky Sports), but who does he himself give the credit to?

He credits his close friend with getting him his big break

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo working with some of the greatest coaches in soccer, he credits a childhood friend with giving him his good start and success in the sport (via Tech Times). According to the site, Ronaldo and his friend Albert Fantrau were playing in a youth club game, when Fantrau passed the ball to Ronaldo so he could score instead of getting the goal himself, meaning that Ronaldo and not Fantrau got accepted into the Sporting Lisbon academy.

When Ronaldo asked why Fantrau replied that he did so simply because "You're better than me." Since then, despite Fantrau not making it in soccer, he's said to live a wealthy life, courtesy of his close friend (via Tech Times). However, Ronaldo has also stated that his biggest inspiration is himself (via Eurosport) — while he's also described the Portuguese players he watched as a child as his inspirations, he clearly spurs himself on to improve — as his strict workout routine shows.