Childhood Memories: Ronaldo’s Arab Friend Recalls Nights Spent at McDonald, Indulging in Leftover Burgers

Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Paim, former friends from the Sporting Academy, once shared late-night excursions to McDonald’s for leftover burgers. However, as their football careers diverged, so did their paths, and the two lost contact.

Paim, reflecting on their friendship, reminisced about their time together at Sporting. “We used to play in sports and live in the academy. We went to McDonald’s at night to pick up the burgers that were no longer needed and not suitable for sale. Sporting was aware; we had permission to leave,” Paim shared.

Despite the age difference, Paim and Ronaldo remained close off the field. “We spent vacations together, one in Brazil, where I had never been until Euro 2004,” Paim recalled. He acknowledged that, although they didn’t play together frequently due to the three-year age gap, they were good friends.Paim expressed admiration for Ronaldo’s dedication and work ethic. “He has achieved everything he could, leaving nothing in his possession. But that work from when we were young led to it,” Paim said.

When Ronaldo joined Manchester United in 2003, he famously referenced Paim’s skills, saying, “If you think I’m good, wait until you see Fabio Paim.” Despite Paim’s talent, his career took a different turn, leading to a lifestyle of wealth, women, cars, and parties.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo pursued greatness, winning five Champions Leagues and five Ballon d’Or awards. Paim acknowledged Ronaldo as the best player of all time, surpassing even Lionel Messi.

Paim, who briefly played for LZS Starowice in 2020–21, expressed regret for the mistakes that led to wasted potential. He admitted that he could have outperformed Ronaldo if he had put in the same amount of work. However, he now assists young people in avoiding the pitfalls he faced.

Their paths diverged further when Paim faced legal troubles in 2019, getting arrested for drug trafficking offenses. Although the case fell apart, communication between Paim and Ronaldo ceased.

Paim, who cleared his name, now assists young people and has distanced himself from football. He remains respectful of Ronaldo’s achievements but is apprehensive about playing with him again, fearing injury.As they live different lives, Paim acknowledges that he has no idea if Ronaldo remembers his existence. Despite their contrasting journeys, he believes that if they cross paths, they might not talk like they used to.

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