Inside Cristiano Ronaldo & Georgina Rodriguez’s inner circle – from squad of ‘Darlings’ to pal star supported in tragedy

THERE is no greater pain than the loss of a child and, today, Cristiano Ronaldo and partner Georgina Rodriguez will be struggling to process the death of their baby boy, amid the joy of the arrival of his twin sister.

The Manchester United striker, 37, announced the tragic passing of his son last night, saying the couple were “devastated” and adding:  “Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.”


The devoted dad, who already had four children before Georgina fell pregnant with the twins, said simply: “It's the greatest pain any parent can feel.”

As the grieving process begins, the pair will be surrounded by a loyal squad of family and friends, ready to rally around them and help them in any way they can.

Messages of support are already pouring in, with teammate Marcus Rashford tweeting: "Thoughts are with you and Georgina brother. I’m so sorry."

Sir Kenny Dalglish wrote: “Sending our heartfelt condolences to you and your family for your unimaginable loss.”

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Gary Lineker added: "Terribly sad news. Sincere condolences to you and your family."

There were also messages of sympathy from Man United's premiership rivals, including Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool.

But one of the most touching messages came from Ronaldo’s sister, Katia Aveiro, who posted a message on Instagram saying: “I love you and my heart is with you over there. May God take care of you and strengthen your path more and more.”

Referring to Ronaldo’s dad Dinis, who died from liver failure in 2005, she added: "Our little angel is already on daddy's lap.

"Our little girl is there, firm and strong and full of health and is going to show us with every day that only love matters." 

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Ronaldo's fiercely protective sisters

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Ronaldo and Georgina with sisters Katia and Elma, mum Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and Cristiano Ronaldo Jr in 2016Credit: AFP – Getty
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Hugo is also close to his younger brotherCredit: Instagram, @cristiano

The heartfelt message – posted alongside pictures of Ronaldo and Georgina, 28, with Katia’s own children – highlights the close bond the legendary star has with his family, who are fiercely protective of him.

Ronaldo's sisters, Elma and Katia, are both very vocal in their support of their brother.

Oldest sister Elma has called him:"My king. The best ever. The pride of my life."

Last week, she posted a picture of the pair of them with the words: "My great and perfect love. The most beautiful human being I've ever met in the world. In fact my whole family is an example of love and respect.”

After he scored a hat trick, last month, Katia lashed out at critics who said he was past his prime, writing: “The old man, the finished one, the hasbeen… And he is well behaved and very disciplined and used to responding as only he knows. A hat trick.”

Brother Hugo, who is ten years old that his famous sibling, is also a huge supporter and is often pictured at matches.

The striker saved his brother from a drink and drugs addiction by paying for rehab and they are now closer than ever, go on holidays together, and Ronaldo is godfather to Hugo's son.

Ronaldo has also paid tribute to his mum, Maria Dolores in the past, calling her: "The best mother in the world, a warrior who always taught me not to give up, the best grandmother my children could ever dream of having."

He is a huge believer in family ties, once saying: "If you don't have family, life will be very, very tough." 

Georgina's 'inseparable' family

Georgina can also draw strength from her own mother Ana Maria Hernandez and sister, Ivana, who is already by her side to comfort her.

Ivana, who became a mum to her own baby girl in November, is thought to have flown to the UK with boyfriend, Carlos Garcia, before the tragedy to help the new mum with her recovery.

The “inseparable” Rodriguez threesome share a special bond forged in adversity. Georgina’s dad, a cocaine kingpin, spent  much of her childhood in prison.

He was sentenced to 11 years in jail in 2003 for masterminding a failed plot to smuggle more than £100,000 worth of 83 per cent pure cocaine from Spain to France.

He was freed on licence in 2008 but was soon back inside for smuggling £1million of cannabis resin from Morocco to Spain with accomplices. He got a two-year term and was freed in 2013.

Jorge died at 70 in 2019, from complications related to a stroke he had two-and-a-half years before.

In a recent message on social media, Georgina paid tribute to her mum and sister, writing: “I want to thank my family, that has not let go of my hand since I came into this world.

“Thanks to my mum and my sister @ivana.rodriguez for accompanying me on this journey in life, because we have always been a little family of three, but this has made us become unconditional and inseparable.

“Thanks mum for instilling in us the values you have, the ones we cannot live without today. Love and respect.”

Squad of 'Darlings'


While Georgina’s romance with the soccer star has  brought her a world away from the rundown area of Madrid where she grew up, she has a close circle of friends that predate her rise to riches and keep her feet on the ground.

Her “Darlings”, as she calls them, include childhood friend Mamen Morales as well as Ivan Garcia and Sofia Mezquida, pals from her days as a sales assistant in Gucci, where she was working when she first met Ronaldo in 2016.

“Being friends with Georgina is the bomb,” Mamen said in the Netflix documentary I Am Georgina. 

“We have a normal friendship, because we have always been friends, but she has the money and the capability that other people don't have. She’s a friend with superpowers.”

The Darlings – which also include Ivana – have kept her company throughout Ronaldo’s moves around the world, from Madrid to Turin and Manchester, and often drop everything to travel to wherever she wants to meet them. 

“The thing that makes her really happy is family, and friends, because she also forms a family with her group of friends,” says Ivan.

Ronaldo's football pals

For Ronaldo, constantly moving clubs has meant he has close friends all over the world, including Pepe, Marcelo and Ricardo Quaresma.

But perhaps his greatest support at this time will be ‘best pal’ Jose Semedo, who is going through his own grief after losing his beloved wife Soraia Read, last year.

The pair have had a lifelong friendship after meeting as kids at Sporting Lisbon’s youth academy.

Soraia, 34, died suddenly from complications after an infection, and Ronaldo reached out to comfort his childhood pal, writing: “Last week, unexpectedly, a fantastic human being left, our dear Soraia, a wonderful mother and wife of one of the best friends that life has given me.

“Nothing can erase the pain of my brother Jose Semedo and the whole family.

“But we are together, today as always, in time to face this very difficult time. Rest in peace, my friend. We'll never forget you.”

For solid couple Ronaldo and Georgina, however, the greatest comfort will come from each other and from their five children – Cristiano Jr, 11, Eva, Matteo and Alana, all four, and the newborn baby girl.

He recently posted a picture of his kids with the words: "Family is everything."

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The Manchester United legend dotes on his growing brood and just a week ago Georgina paid tribute to him, saying: "Every day by your side is happy and special. We love you indefinitely. Thank you so much to the best dad in the world."

As they face their grief in the wake of their baby’s tragic death, it’s the love of this family that will pull them through. 

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