CRISTIANO RONALDO’S sister has said they grew up so poor she was nearly scarred for life after being bitten by a rat as a baby.
Katia Aveiro revealed their doting mum Dolores got to her in time and made sure she escaped serious injury.
The singer-turned-influencer, who now lives in Brazil but recently returned to Madeira for a family reunion following her mum’s March 3 stroke, spoke about her upbringing in an emotional Instagram post.
The house where she grew up with brothers Cristiano and Hugo and big sister Elma just outside the capital Funchal has been demolished.
Juventus striker Ronaldo, whose net worth stands at more than £360million, now owns several properties including a seven-storey apartment block in the Madeiran capital and two luxury apartments in Lisbon.
Katia, 43, mum to a 10-month-old girl called Valentina with Brazilian businessman Alexandre Bertolucci, said alongside a picture of the home where Cristiano grew up: “I was born in an old house and my bed was held up by bricks.
“I was bitten in the face by a rat when I was still a baby and I’m not ashamed to say it. Thank God my mother arrived in time, otherwise I’d be uglier than I am today.”
She added: “I I grew up in a poor neighbourhood and from an early age I learned to appreciate what little I had.”
Katia also said the values her mum had instilled in her had showed her the importance of solidarity.
It is a character trait Cristiano also appears to have taken on board, as evidenced by the recent revelation from Man City star Bernardo Silva that Ronaldo had asked the Portugal squad to donate half of their Euro 2020 qualification bonus to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Revealing how struggling Dolores, whose alcoholic husband Dinis drank himself into an early grave in September 2005, had been such an important influence in their life, Katia said: “When I was little my mum taught me to share what we had between us.
“The ability to help someone has nothing to do with their possessions. We should and can help someone whatever their social condition.”