Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have it all.
He is one of the world’s most recognizable faces, one of the highest-paid athletes ever and one of the greatest to ever set foot on a soccer pitch, but at one point in his life he was a poor kid from Portugal.
Ronaldo, 34, grew up impoverished on the island of Madeira. As the youngest of four siblings, Ronaldo would beg for hamburgers at his local McDonald’s.
In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo said he is on a mission to find Edna, one of the female employees of his local McDonald’s who would give him burgers, as well as two others who would do the same.
“We were a little hungry. We had a McDonald’s next to the stadium, we knocked on the door and asked, 'Have you got any burgers?” Ronaldo told Morgan. “There was always Edna and two other girls. I never found them again.”
During the interview, the former Real Madrid star made a declaration that he is searching for Edna and the ladies to take them to dinner in Lisbon or in Turin, Italy, where he lives now.
“I asked people in Portugal, they closed the McDonalds, but if this interview can help find them, I would be so happy,” he said. “I want to invite them to Turin or Lisbon to come have dinner with me because I want to give something back.”
The European champion recently took his eldest son, Cristiano Jr., to where he grew up and to the grounds of his first professional club, Sporting Lisbon. The conditions his son saw surprised him, Ronaldo told Morgan.
“My son turned to me and said: ‘Dad, you really live here?!’” He said. “This generation, they have everything easy. They have computers. They do not have to sacrifice to get what they want.”
During the candid interview with Morgan, Ronaldo got emotional talking about his late father, who died when the soccer star was 20, just two years into his tenure at Manchester United.
His father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, died of a liver failure in London at age 52. Ronaldo broke down in tears, revealing that his dad never had the chance to see him become so successful.
“My family see, my mom, my brothers ... but my father, he didn't see nothing, and it was ... he died young,” he said.