UNLIKE a huge number of his peers, Cristiano Ronaldo is tattoo free.
And while it may be easy to believe he avoids ink for reasons of vanity, the Real Madrid superstar actually has a much more altruistic reason.
Ronaldo revealed in 2012: “I don’t have tattoos because I donate blood very often.”
The 32-year-old is has been a blood – and bone marrow – donor since he was 24.
Ronaldo first became a donor after being told by former international team-mate Carlos Martins about his son.
Martins’ son needed regular blood and bone marrow transfusions and Ronaldo was quick to volunteer.
He has since been a frequent donor and two years ago became the face of a campaign by charity Abbott to encourage others to donate.
Individuals with tattoos can give blood – but new tattoos can affect donations and cause a precautionary waiting period of between six and 12 months.
Ronaldo doesn’t want to wait that long to give blood, so has avoided the needle.
In 2015, he said: “We can all make a difference by donating blood.
“Each donation can benefit up to three people in emergency situations and for long-term medical treatments.
“That’s why I am enthusiastic to be partnering with Abbott to bring awareness to the importance of blood donation and to encourage people around the world to become lifelong blood donors and help save lives.”
Speaking about Carlos Martins, he told Cadena Cope in 2013: “He told us about the problem with his son and we, the players, showed great unity to help him and his son because we knew it was a very complicated situation.
“[Donating bone marrow] is something a lot of people think is a difficult thing to do but it’s nothing more than drawing blood and doesn’t hurt.
“I did it many years ago and if I had to do it again I would because this is a very serious disease for many children and we need to help them.”