Why is Cristiano Ronaldo called 'El Bicho'? Manchester United star's 'The Bug' nickname explained

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The Portuguese earned this nickname while he was in Spain playing for Real Madrid...

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the legends of the game. While he is often referred to as the 'G.O.A.T.' (Greatest of All Time) by his fans, he has quite a few other monikers as well.

He has played in four different countries and in Spain, where he has spent the best years of his career with Real Madrid, is fondly known as "El Bicho'.

So what does the nickname mean and why is he called it? GOAL takes a look.

Why is Cristiano Ronaldo known as 'El Bicho' & what does it mean?

Ronaldo spent close to 10 years in Spain and netted 451 times in 438 competitive appearances, averaging more than a goal per game. He was at his brilliant best and went on to win four UEFA Champions League titles and Ballon d'Ors each. He clinched several records and is the club's all-time leading goalscorer and also happens to be the only player in Real Madrid history to score more than 60 goals in a single season.

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Ronaldo was a rage amongst Spanish commentators and his goals would follow an elaborate and euphoric commentary. During one such game, Spanish sports broadcaster Manolo Lama coined the term 'El Bicho' during a radio commentary early in his time in La Liga. This means "The Bug' in Spanish which can frighten and devour opposition defenders.

Ronaldo's incredible dribbling skills and his ability to finish from difficult angles and positions made him one of the most feared footballers on the planet. His quick stepovers in the penalty box or in the wings are a signature Ronaldo move which was a nightmare for defenders. Though his game has changed, he has shown no signs of slowing down and was manchester United's top scorer with 24 goals to his name across all competitions in 2021-22.

What other nicknames does Cristiano Ronaldo have?

Ronaldo has quite a few other monikers barring 'El Bicho'. He is widely known as 'CR7' since his breakthrough at Manchester United and the footballer has gone on to craft an entire global brand around the nickname. He has a wide line of accessories, clothing, and hotel chain that goes by the name CR7. Nike even have their own range of CR7 merchandise, including football boots, balls, and training gear.

In 2013, a museum was opened in his hometown of Funchal in Madeira and it is called Museu CR7. Not many know that the galaxy known as Cosmos Redshift 7 or Galaxy CR7 was inspired by Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is also known as Mr. Champions League because of his incredible record in the European competition. He has 140 goals to his name and has won the tournament on five occasions.

However, among his family and close friends, he is called by the name of 'Ronnie' or 'Cris.'