Capping off a year of loss for so many amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram on New Year's Eve, to share a message of hope leading in to the new year.
"2020 was not an easy year, there’s no doubt about it," the 35-year-old soccer superstar captioned a photo of himself, girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, and his four children: 2-year-old twins, Eva Maria and Mateo, 2-year-old daughter, Alana Martina, and 9-year-old son Cristiano Jr. "No one can be indifferent to the pain and suffering that COVID-19 brought upon the world."
The caption continued: "But now it’s time to bounce back and show that, together, we can make a difference. Because no matter how hard is the fall, what really defines us is the way we get back on our feet and how fast we are ready to face new obstacles."
The Juventus F.C. forward asked fans to think of the new year as a fresh start, one that would allow everyone to "become better versions" of themselves.
"So let’s try to turn 2021 into a turning point, a new beggining [sic], a fresh start. Because all of us – and I do mean all of us – can still become better versions of ourselves," Ronaldo wrote. "And if we do it all together, that might actually be the secret to turn things around for the better."
He ended the caption with: "Happy New Year! And may 2021 be a year to allways [sic] remember for the best reasons! 🙏🏽❤️"
Despite testing positive for COVID-19 in October, Ronaldo appears to have closed out 2020 on a high note.
In recent weeks, he's spent time with his family, sharing a photo of his brood gathered in front of a Christmas tree on Instagram over the holiday, and posting other photos of his children individually.
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Earlier this year, he became the first soccer player to bring in at least $1 billion in earnings, according to Forbes, which reported that Ronaldo earned $105 million before taxes and fees between June 2019 and June 2020 alone.
The outlet reported that Ronaldo has earned at least $650 million from soccer, with the remainder of his earnings coming from his many endorsement deals, including those with Nike and Tag Heuer.
In March, Ronaldo played the 1,000th game of his career in a stadium that was empty of fans due to coronavirus concerns.
Ronaldo took to Instagram to celebrate the milestone following the game, which Juventus won over Inter Milan, 2-0.
“So proud to reach 1000 official games in my career with a very important victory that put us on the top of the table again!💪🏽,” he wrote. “Thank you to all my teammates, coaches, my family & friends and to my fans that helped me to reach this great achievement.”
However, his October COVID-19 diagnosis came amid the UEFA Nations League Tournament, which Juventus ultimately lost in his absence. His diagnosis reportedly required him to travel via “private ambulance plane” from Portugal to Italy to complete his quarantine.
Nineteen days after first testing positive, Ronaldo tested negative for the virus, and was at that point no longer subject to home isolation.
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