Many fans would assume that Cristiano Ronaldo – the Portuguese Real Madrid superstar, past FIFA Ballon d’Or honoree and past Champions League winner – would have celebrated his victories with a tattoo or two.
While tattoos are not only commonplace in soccer/football, many athletes have created their own brand and market their tattoos as a part of their celebrity. So, why does Ronaldo abstain completely from tattoos?
Ronaldo, known for his charity and efforts to help children overcome debilitating diseases, skips the ink so that he can continue to donate blood. In many countries, including Portugal and the United States, a new tattoo can affect how often a person donates blood, with a waiting period between six months and a few years implemented as a precaution against cross-contamination and diseases, like hepatitis.
“I don’t have tattoos because I donate blood very often,” he said, according to Diretta News, while also taking the time to share a photo on his Facebook page that showed him donating at a hospital. He reportedly gives twice a year.
Additionally, he told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope that he became a bone marrow donor after witnessing a teammate’s struggles.
“It was the time when Carlos [Martins] was with us on the national team. He told us about the problem with his son and we, the players, showed great unity to help him and his son because we knew it was a very complicated situation.” [Donating bone marrow] “is something a lot of people think is a difficult thing to do but it’s nothing more than drawing blood and doesn’t hurt.”
“It doesn’t cost anything,” he added. “It’s a simple process and then you feel happy because you know you are helping another person.”