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Everything We Know About Cristiano Ronaldo’s Troubled Late Father Jose Dinis Aveiro

Everything We Know About Cristiano Ronaldo’s Troubled Late Father Jose Dinis Aveiro

Cristiano Ronaldo reached the pinnacles of world football through sheer dedication and hard work. Now at 39, Ronaldo is still going strong with Al Nassr with accolades coming left and right.

In his moments of triumph, he finds his mother, Dolores, sisters, Katia and Elma, brother, Hugo, girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez and his kids. But there is a void even in the warmth of the closed ones, a void that can never be filled, the void left by his father, Jose Dinis Aveiro. 

Born in Sao Pedro parish in Funchal, Madeira, Ronaldo’s life was never about sunshine and daisies. His life was about struggle and perseverance. Ronaldo’s mother Dolores was a cleaning lady and his father was a gardener and part-time kit man for the local club Andorinha. But his alcoholism hindered those duties. 

Dinis’ reason for being an alcoholic was due to his troubled past. Ronaldo’s father used to be an army man and fought in the Angolan War. The trauma caused by the war left a deep scar on him and to combat that, he moved towards alcoholism.

In the 13 months spent in Mozambique, Dinis saw nothing but death, disease and starvation. After he returned to Madeira, there was nothing but poverty caused by the war efforts of Portugal’s dictatorship. He didn’t have money to buy food so he turned to alcohol. Fellow army vets would often buy him a drink at local bars because Dinis didn’t have a penny on him. 

To make ends meet, Dinis then found a gardener’s job in the local municipality and later as a kit man when Ronaldo played with Andorinha. While his kids were unscathed by his alcohol-fueled rampages, Dolores wasn’t that lucky. She’d often get abused by her husband which made Dinis distant from his kids. 

During an interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo said, ‘I really don’t know my father 100 per cent. He was a drunk person. I never spoke with him, like a normal conversation. It was hard. To be the number one and he don’t see nothing, and he don’t see to receive awards, to see what I became.’

During his early days, Ronaldo was convinced that he’d make a semi-professional career with his talents. But recently he revealed his mindset changed when his father encouraged him to chase a bigger dream. ‘When I was 18 my father always insisted that I follow my dream. He saw that I had talent and encouraged me to play on the street and for our local team Andorinha,’ the former Real Madrid star told on Whoop Podcast. 

Dinis’ words came to fruition when Ronaldo signed with Manchester United in 2003 and his life changed forever. The moment of fulfilment though was unable to free him from the grasp of his past habit. According to a report, Dinis sold Ronaldo’s jersey to fund his alcohol thirst.

But tragedy soon struck and when Ronaldo was 20, Dinis passed away. The lifelong alcohol abuse finally caught up to him and he passed away at the age of 51 in 2005 after liver failure in September. Ronaldo flew his father to London for world-class treatment, but it was too late for Dinis. After two days of battle for survival, the former army man finally laid down his weapon. 

While his father was in his final moments, Ronaldo was in the national team camp. Then-Portugal head coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari took it upon himself to be the bearer of the bad news. ‘It was very hard. It was the moment that created a bond between us, a bond that surpasses the coach-athlete relationship,’ Scolari said in an interview. Two days later, Ronaldo played in a World Cup qualification match against Russia and then returned to Portugal for the funeral.

Since then Ronaldo became a tee-total, staying away from alcohol as his father’s death became a constant reminder of life.