When you are a superstar in the league of one-name celebrities, your entourage does the talking. Ronaldo, as in Cristiano Ronaldo, stunned onlookers in Little Collins Street, Melbourne, when he walked into a shop that was closed for renovation.
The Real Madrid football god paid a visit to Herbalife, one of his sponsors, to stock up on the sports nutrition range called Herbalife 24. Owner of the Herbalife nutrition club, Michael Beckett (pictured left), didn’t expect any customers, let alone Ronaldo.
“I got a phone call saying someone wanted to purchase some products,” Mr Beckett told Fairfax Media. “I didn’t know who it was.” Ten minutes later, a member of the entourage walked in, followed by Ronaldo.
Accompanied by an entourage of three, Ronaldo stayed 30 minutes, which is a generous donation of celebrity time from the player who is in Melbourne for the International Champions Cup.
Naturally, Ronaldo received the royal treatment and despite being an ambassador for the company on a five-year contract, he paid for the products. That’s a lesson in good manners for other celebrities, though some people may say he can afford to part with his cash. In the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities, Ronaldo, 30, is ranked 10th with earnings of $US79.6 million or $107.3 million. This figure comprises salary/winnings of $US52.6 million and $US27 million from endorsements.
When Ronaldo strolled into Herbalife, Mr Beckett called it his “pinch me” moment. “He was a very unassuming guy, just casual and relaxed. He got what he needed for the next two weeks from a nutrition point of view. He sat down and we chatted about football.” Well, through an interpreter because Ronaldo has a cute Portuguese-English accent that makes girls go weak at the knees, making it impossible to juggle a soccer ball.
The photo Ronaldo shared with his 104 million Facebook followers, 36.7 million Twitter followers and 23.7 Instagram followers was taken with Mr Beckett’s camera. “I thanked him for what he has done for football. I’m a big Manchester United fan and I loved him when he was there. He smiled and nodded.”
Since arriving in wintry Melbourne, Ronaldo donned a beanie and had a haircut at the Kings Domain barber shop in the Paris end of Collins Street from owner Angela Sassano. Yes, ladies, she got to touch his soft skin and told her Instagram followers: “You just never know who might walk through the door.”
Ronaldo’s jeans were also cut but they were the “ripped” variety that don’t need constant hairdresser finessing. The football player is made of tough stuff because those jeans would be drafty in these glacial conditions.
Miss Sassano was shocked when the eligible bachelor walked in the door during a shopping trip that included the Culture Kings fashion store in Queen Street. “He was a genuinely nice person,” she said. “He was interested in finding out things about me. He was very talkative.” And he paid with a $100 note.
Mr Beckett and Miss Sassano were lucky to score a photo with the champion goal-scorer because some Aussies working closely with him and the team at AAMI Park have been banned from taking snaps.
A catering source who served the team lunch said the athletes ate braised chicken, zucchini and salad. “And lots of bread rolls. They eat fast and are so serious and focused. There were lots of fans outside.”
Sampling Melbourne by night, Ronaldo dined at Crown restaurant Nobu, played poker and received the VIP treatment at Club 23.