The rumor holding that Cristiano Ronaldo purchased an island near his birthplace of Funchal, Portugal, first emerged in the spring of 2020, roughly around the same time that the Portuguese government introduced lockdown measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The common reasoning holds that the Juventus forward wanted to make the most out of the turbulent period and spend some time with his family at a scenic location.
So, did Cristiano Ronaldo really buy an island?
With the step, the celebrated soccer player would have joined a long list of celebrities eager to invest some of their money into natural resources. Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and Eddie Murphy are just some of the other stars who own an island.
The enhanced sense of privacy and the opportunity to financially contribute to the area where Cristiano was born could have been just some of the factors playing into the decision, if only he had chosen to go ahead and buy an island.
What's more, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find a dazzlingly beautiful spot to stay at during the COVID-19 pandemic could have influenced the decision making process as well — if only he would have embarked on the big step.
However, there's a great deal of disagreement between different resources on whether Cristiano went ahead and purchased an island or not, with most reputable sources stating that he did not do that.
According to The Sun, Cristiano spent most of the lockdown period with his family on Madeira — the largest island of the Archipelago of Madeira that's home to around 300,000 people — which proves that the rumors about his latest island-themed shopping spree are ungrounded.
Let's take a look at how the articles claiming he did buy an island were written. Websites like Republic World or GQ India fail to mention the name or location of the island, and they don't provide any details on the price range, the type of the property, or the amenities available either.
The rumor is also listed on websites specifically created to help debunk fake news like Poynter and LeadStories. According to the outlets, Cristiano's management has already confirmed that the soccer superstar did not buy an island near Madeira.
Cristiano posted an abundance of photographs on Instagram about his stay in Madeira during the early days of the pandemic — which might have helped fuel the fast-reading rumors.
In 2015, Cristiano gifted a Greek island to his agent, Jorge Mendes.
The soccer player purchased an unnamed island somewhere in Greece as a wedding gift to his manager, Jorge Mendes, and his long-term partner, Sandra Barbosa. Some believe that the thoughtful present could have set him back with as much as €45 million.
"Cristiano Ronaldo bought his agent a Greek Island...and I can't even afford a $5 footlong," tweeted a person.
"Cristiano Ronaldo bought Jorge Mendes a Greek island as a wedding present. He deserved it. What a life has the super agent given him," wrote somebody else.