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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@cristiano/Alamy
Cristiano Ronaldo is known across the globe for his incredible performances on the football pitch, but his lack of tattoos points to some of the other amazing work he does.
The Manchester United player is no stranger to sharing a snap of his shirtless self on his Instagram page, and his years running around the pitch have given viewers plenty of time to look at his legs, so fans may be aware of the fact that his body is ink-free.
There are no tattoos honouring his many, many goals, nothing referencing his Portuguese heritage and no words depicting the names of his kids, and though the choice not to have tattoos is a very common one, Ronaldo actually has a very specific reason for his lack of ink.
In 2012, the footballer told Italian news website Diretta he didn't have tattoos so he can 'donate blood more often'.
According to the NHS, blood donors have to wait four months after getting a tattoo or skin piercing before donating again.
Ronaldo registered as a bone marrow donor and began regularly donating blood when his Portugal teammate, Carlos Martins, revealed in 2011 his son had been diagnosed with leukaemia and needed regular blood and bone marrow transfusions.
In 2013, Ronaldo told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope the players 'showed great unity to help [Martins] and his son because we knew it was a very complicated situation'.
According to Inside World Soccer, he continued: "[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."
"It doesn't cost anything, it's a simple process and then you feel happy because you know you are helping another person," he continued.
Ronaldo encouraged more people to become blood donors with a campaign launched in partnership with Abbott in 2015, saying at the time 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,” he continued. "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."
The same year, the footballer was named 'Most Charitable Athlete' on the Dosomething.org 'Athletes Gone Good' list.