Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/16/12

Cristiano Ronaldo's on-field persona won't win him many popularity contests, but that doesn't seem to bother fans on the social networks.
On Monday, Ronaldo became the first athlete to athlete to have 50 million Facebook users "like" his page. He marked the milestone with a post thanking his legions of fans.





"Reaching 50,000,000 likes is unbelievable ... I want to thank you, you you, you and everyone who have been supporting me all these years. I really want us to keep sharing all the good moments together -- and the best is still to come. THANK YOU ALL."
The Portugal and Real Madrid star has over 10 million more fans than eternal rival Lionel Messi. David Beckham is the third most-liked athlete (21 million) and Ronaldo's teammate Kaka is fourth (18 million).
Ronaldo's fan base represents five percent of all Facebook users worldwide. His next target could be to pass the combined total of the two two clubs for whom he has starrred in recent years. Real Madrid has over 32 million Facebook fans, while Manchester United has 27.9 million. His fame (on the social network) could become bigger than both in the years to come.
The 27-year-old is having another standout season for club and country. He's scored 14 goals in 11 games for Real Madrid, despite being slowed by a "professional" problem with his club. He will play his 100th game for Portugal on Tuesday, becoming one of the youngest European stars to reach the century mark.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O'Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer's Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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