Cristiano Ronaldo Returns to Soccer for First Game After Baby Boy’s Death
Less than a week after announcing that his newborn son had tragically passed away, Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to the soccer pitch.
The legendary soccer star, 37, joined his Manchester United teammates on the field in a match against Arsenal on April 23. Despite Ronaldo scoring a goal 34 minutes into the game, United would end up losing to the opposing team 3-1.
With his latest goal, Ronaldo marked a major milestone in his Premiere League career: his 100th goal. The athlete marked the special occasion by poignantly pointing up to the sky—a move which some fans believed to be a tribute to his son.
Ronaldo later appeared to confirm the theory himself, when he tweeted a photo of the moment and added a red heart emoji.
In a joint statement posted by Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodríguez on April 18, the couple—who announced that they were expecting twins last October—revealed that their newborn son had passed away.
“It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away,” the statement read. “It is the greatest pain that any parent can feel. Only the birth of our baby girl gives us strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.”
“We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support,” it continued. “We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.”
The statement concluded, “Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you.”
Three days after the heartbreaking news, the couple jointly posted a photo of their family—including their new baby girl—on Instagram. In addition to the little one, Ronaldo also has son Cristiano Jr., 11, twins Mateo and Eva, 4, and his first daughter with Georgina, Alana, 4.
“Home sweet home. Gio and our baby girl are finally together with us,” the post’s caption read. “We want to thank everyone for all the kind words and gestures. Your support is very important and we all felt the love and respect that you have for our family. Now it’s time to be grateful for the life that we’ve just welcomed into this world.”