CRISTIANO RONALDO has proved his heart is as big as his medal cabinet – by handing his Champions League bonus of nearly £500,000 to charity.
Spanish journalist Pipi Estrada revealed that, before last week’s final, the Real Madrid superstar “had spoken with (agent) Jorge Mendes and asked him to take charge of distributing the money to the needy”.
Three-time world player of the year Ronaldo sparked doubts over his fitness with a muted display in the showpiece against Atletico Madrid in Milan, although he fired the penalty shootout winner.
But any short-term criticism he receives might be overshadowed by the long-term good his donation of 600,000 Euros (£463,000) will do.
Ronaldo – Portugal’s main hope at Euro 2016 – winded down after the final with a holiday on a yacht in Ibiza with friends.
And he provoked more mixed reaction when Wolfsburg star Bruno Henrique disclosed how the former Manchester United flier spent much of their Champions League quarter-final checking himself on the big screens.
But the former Manchester United flier’s latest gesture confirms what many who know him personally have said about his generosity.
Of course, in terms of hard cash, this has a different meaning to the likes of you and me.
Last year Ronaldo, 31, was third on the Forbes rich list of sporting competitors, reportedly earning £34million from pay and bonuses PLUS £17m from endorsements.
That total of £51m pipped the £47.5m reputedly accrued by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
But even their combined earnings were eclipsed by two boxing legends, Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao picking up £103m and American Floyd Mayweather £193m.
Ronaldo, though, insists none of that matters to him.
He won three Premier League titles and the Champions League with United, before taking the Spanish crown and twice more Europe’s top domestic competition with Real.
The sun, Uk