From Football Star To Hotel Tycoon – Cristiano Ronaldo Diversifies

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Dec 18 2015
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He is the first Portuguese footballer to win three FIFA / Ballons d’Or, and the first player to win four European Golden Shoe awards. In September 2015, he scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country. He has a US$50+ million a year salary (with bonuses) through 2018 and the world’s most popular athlete, with 108 million Facebook and 39 million Twitter followers.


As the world’s highest-paid athletes, he earned US$80 million last year with endorsement alone worth US$28 million. But the Real Madrid superstar – Cristiano Ronaldo – is already preparing for the rainy days towards life after football (or soccer). He is venturing into hotel business, investing US$40 million (£26.7 million, RM171.5 million) into 4 boutique hotels.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Two Photos

The international playboy and underwear model unveiled his plans to link up with the Pestana Hotel Group, one of Portugal’s largest tourism and leisure firms, with his “CR7” brand, spanning 4 cities – Funchal, Lisbon, Madrid and New York. Considering Funchal was his hometown and Lisbon was where he first started his youth career while he plays for Madrid, his next club could be in U.S.


Although he hopes his football career will continue “another six, seven or even 10 years”, Ronaldo doesn’t see himself as a coach. However, he admits it was always his dream to have his own hotel. His “CR7” label currently spans clothing and fragrance thus by entering the hotel industry; he could be looking to mimic Virgin’s wide range of services and goods.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Legacy Fragrance PerfumeCristiano Ronaldo - CR7 Underwear

Ronaldo explains the hotel idea first came about during a casual conversation with Pestana in his native Madeira, an archipelago of four islands facing the Moroccan coast. A personal connection with chief executive Dionisio Pestana, whose father founded the Pestana Group, sweetened the deal.


The hotel group Pestana Hotels and Resorts was founded by Mr. Manuel Pestana, when he acquired the Atlântico hotel, an ocean front unit in Funchal in 1965. He later built a 5-star Sheraton on the site and was completed in 1972, which is known today as Pestana Carlton Madeira Hotel.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Dionisio Pestana - CR7 Hotel VentureCristiano Ronaldo Hotel Venture - Prestana Group

Pestana Group is the biggest hotel group in Portugal and is present in 16 countries across Europe, Africa and South America with 91 hotels and more than 10,700 rooms, six golf courses and two casinos, with an annual turnover of US$240 million. The group also owns the Portuguese airline euroAtlantic Airways, and a stake in STP Airways.


Dionisio Pestana, owner and son of the founder of the hotel group, explained that the investment between Ronaldo and Pestana Group is based on a 50-50 joint venture. The first two hotels will open next year on the Portuguese island of Madeira and in Lisbon. The remaining third and fourth is scheduled to open in Madrid and New York City in 2017.

Cristiano Ronaldo with Son at BeachCristiano Ronaldo Hugging Dionisio Pestana - CR7 Hotel Venture

The 30-year-old footballer said – “This is the biggest project of my life. It’s an investment in a completely different area, but, as you can imagine, the goal is to take care of my future and the future of my son. My world is playing soccer but we all know that life won’t always be like this. I have to dedicate myself to this new project and I have the best team in the world around me.”


Ronaldo was thrust into the spotlight when he signed with Manchester United in 2003. He played with the “Red Devils” until 2009, during which he won three Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League trophy, before moving to Real Madrid. There, he became the all-time leading goal scorer in the European Champions League, ahead of Barcelona striker and rival Lionel Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo Buys Apartment at Trump Tower

To his fans, however, the news about his hotel ventures is more than just business preparation for retirement. Cristiano Ronaldo has essentially dropped the biggest hint on his next football career when his contract is up at Real Madrid in 2018. At 33, he will still able to play in the United States’ Major League Soccer. Earlier, he bought an US$18.5 million apartment at Trump Towers.


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