Cristiano Ronaldo has become the father of a baby boy, the Real Madrid footballer announced on his Twitter and Facebook accounts Sunday.
The message on Ronaldo's Internet pages does not name the mother, but the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha said she is a US citizen.
"It is with great joy and emotion that I inform I have recently become father to a baby boy. As agreed with the baby's mother, who prefers to have her identity kept confidential, my son will be under my exclusive guardianship," the message read.
"No further information will be provided on this subject and I request everyone to fully respect my right to privacy (and that of the child) at least on issues as personal as these are," Ronaldo said.
The agency representing the player, Gestifute, confirmed the news, as did "a female friend of the family," Correio de Manha said in its online edition.
According to the newspaper, the baby was born in the United States at the beginning of June. Ronaldo spent his summer holidays in Los Angeles and Miami last summer, it added.
The report said the player's mother, Dolores, and sisters Elma and Katia, were arranging for the necessary papers so the child could be brought to Portugal.
Ronaldo, 25, has been romantically linked to a number of women over the years, the latest being Russian swimwear model Irina Shayk.
Shayk expressed disappointment at the announcement. "My friend has suddenly become a father," she wrote in her Facebook account.
The news came a few days after Ronaldo and the Portuguese national team were eliminated from the World Cup in South Africa. The player had a disappointing tournament, scoring only once.
UPDATE: 7 JULY 2010
Ronaldo's son 'already worth 150 million pounds'
London, July 7 : Cristiano Ronaldo's newborn son is already worth 150 million pounds, thanks to his dad's fortune.
The baby boy will be playing in millions in the future, as he will be the sole beneficiary of his dad's fortune.
Even the financial experts reckon that he will live the life of luxury as the Portuguese ace boosts his new family's earnings with a string of big money deals.
They think that the footballer's earnings will top 150 million pounds by the end of his career.
"The kid is set for life. If you look into the finer detail, Ronaldo's going to earn more than 100 million pounds across his six-year contract with Real alone," the Daily Star quoted one of the financial expert as saying.
"That's aside from personal sponsorships," he added.
UPDATE: 8 JULY 2010
Cristiano Ronaldo pays £10million for baby mother’s silence.
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly paid the mother of his baby son £10million for her silence over the affair, The Sun has reported.
The Real Madrid player allegedly described it as: "The most expensive day of my life."
The 25 year-old Real Madrid player is reported to have transferred the money to the woman earlier this week, in return for which she has sworn to secrecy and has relinquished all rights to seeing her child.
"He paid nearly a year's wages but it's more than worth it. He's called it the most expensive day of his life, but at least he has sole custody," a source said according to The Sun.
The little boy, born on June 17, is said to be with the sportsman’s family in Portugal's Algarve region.
Cristiano Ronaldo names his baby son after himself
Cristiano Ronaldo's family has revealed that the soccer ace has named his son after himself.
The Portuguese striker, 25, is on holiday in the US with Russian model girlfriend Irina Shayk after leaving his baby with his mum and sister.
They are staying in a rented 2.5-million-pound villa on the Algarve, near Ronaldo's CR7 fashion boutique in upmarket Vilamoura.
"The baby is doing very well. We are looking after him while Cristiano is away. He's called Cristiano just like his dad," the Sun quoted Ronaldo's sister Katia as saying.
"Cristiano chose the name but we like it. He looks like his father and like me. He has the same eyes," she added.
According to reports in Portugal, Ronaldo handpicked a surrogate mother in the US in order to create his own 'Mini-me'.
He picked the woman after twice visiting fertility specialists in Florida last summer.