Cristiano Ronaldo was reduced to tears after being shown footage of his late father expressing his pride at his achievements.
The Juventus star was shown the clip of his father Jose Dinis Aveiro speaking about him on his doorstep, ahead of the Euro 2004 tournament held in Portugal.
His father, an alcoholic and former soldier, would die of liver failure a year later at the age of 52, missing out on much of Ronaldo’s success and the birth of his four children.
In tears, Ronaldo said during the hour-long interview with Piers Morgan: ‘I never saw the video. I never saw that video. Unbelievable.’ The Portugal international also revealed how facing a rape allegation left him feeling embarrassed in front of his girlfriend and children. Speaking about the accusation, he said: ‘It makes you feel so bad.’
‘One day I was at home in the living room with my girlfriend and then the news they speak about Cristiano Ronaldo, this and that,’ he said. ‘You listen to you kids coming down the stairs and you change the channel because I was embarrassed, I feel embarrassed.’ American model Kathryn Mayorga claimed the football star raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 but Ronaldo strongly denies the claims.
Las Vegas authorities announced last month that there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Ronaldo, 34.
Mayorga is pressing ahead with a civil case, but Ronaldo’s lawyers want to have it thrown out – saying the claim was already settled with a payoff and confidentiality agreement in 2010.
The footballer’s full interview with Piers Morgan will air tomorrow on ITV at 9pm, but Good Morning Britain today showed select clips from the conversation.
Asked how it felt to hear his father talking of his pride at his son’s achievements, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player added: ‘Yes, a lot.’I think the interview would be funny, but I didn’t expect to cry. But I never saw these images. I don’t know where you… I have to have these images to show my family.
‘But 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.’
Ronaldo was just 20 when his father passed away, meaning he missed many of the biggest moments of his football career.
These include winning five Champions League titles and five Ballon d’Ors as well as leading his country to Euro 2016 and Nations League glory. He also missed the birth of Ronaldo’s four children.
Ronaldo said his father was affected by wars in Mozambique and Angola and added: ‘To be the number one and he don’t see nothing, and he don’t see me receive awards, to see what I became.’My family see, my mum, my brothers, even my old son, but my father, he didn’t see nothing, and it was… he died young.’
A childhood friend of Dinis Aviero, who served with him in the army, said that the former soldier used to brag about how his son would be the best player in the world one day.
According to ESPN, another friend said that, after the war, he and Ronaldo’s father ‘were abandoned’.
He said: ‘The war veterans didn’t have any money and no work. Of course when I see Ronaldo, I remember his dad. He had problems and didn’t have anything to eat, so he would turn to drinking. His friends would buy him drinks. He didn’t have any money. He didn’t eat properly.’Ronaldo’s mother, Dolores Aveiro, has supported the footballer throughout his career.
In 2014, she admitted that she tried to abort Cristiano by drinking warm beer and running ’till she dropped’, after doctors refused to help her.
She said: ‘He told me when he found out, ”Look mum, you wanted to abort and now I’m the one who’s pulling the purse-strings in the house”.’
In the interview, Ronaldo also revealed he plans to marry his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez one day.
Talking about her, Ronaldo said: ‘She helped me so much. Of course I’m in love for her.
‘We’ll be (married) one day, for sure. It’s my mum’s dream as well. So, one day. Why not?
‘It’s great. She’s my friend. We have conversations. I open the heart for her and she open the heart for me.’