Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is now officially the first player in the 2014 World Cup to endure a hotel room break-in, with an estimated $32,000 USD worth of items stolen from his suite in Manaus, Brazil. Amongst the missing items, a priceless soccer ball won by Ronaldo for his hat trick against Newcastle United on January 8th, 2008, when he played for Manchester United.
Authorities say two unidentified men, presumably in their mid-twenties, snuck into the hotel via a rear “catering door” at approximately 10:55 pm local time Friday evening. They then made their way upstairs onboard a service freight elevator, trying several doors belonging to Ronaldo’s Portugal teammates before managing to break into Ronaldo’s room. Ronaldo was reportedly taking part in a late-evening training session with teammates Nani and Rafa Silva at the time of the break-in.
Police were called at approximately 2 am by Portugal defender André Almeida, who saw Ronaldo’s door ajar while returning to his own room. Authorities found signs of forced entry at the scene, and strong evidence of theft, with Ronaldo’s remaining belongings strewn out around the room. Ronaldo stayed in Silva’s room that evening while police examined the scene.
According to team Portugal travel staff, the estimated value of Ronaldo’s stolen belongings was approximately €23,600, or about $32,000. Items stolen in the heist include Ronaldo’s aforementioned match ball, which he brings with him for good luck, as well as $14,000 worth of hair products, most of Ronaldo’s undergarments, an expensive painting Ronaldo purchased in Rio de Janeiro, and a personal fitness product called a “Bomba do Caralho,” which Ronaldo’s assistant described in English as “a special product brought over from Portugal, which [Ronaldo] must get back, as he cannot perform well without it.”
“He’s very distraught. We are hoping they can find the culprits and have them brought to justice,” says Portugal defender Bruno Alves, in broken English. “Cristiano is a key player on our team. We [need] him focused for the duration [of] the World Cup, and not with his head all thinking about this burglary.”
Portugal play against the United States on Sunday at 5pm EST on ESPN. If they lose the game, the United States will advance and Portugal will be knocked out of the World Cup.