Cristiano Ronaldo is to be granted one of the most prestigious awards in the Portuguese honours system, the president's office has confirmed.
The 28-year-old Real Madrid forward, who is already an Officer of the Order of Prince Henry, will now be made Grand Officer for his services to the country and the example he sets to its young people.
The award is just two steps away from the highest-ranked accolade achievable under the system, the Grand Collar, which is reserved for heads of state and those whose achievements are of an "extraordinary and special nature".
A statement on the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic website read: "The President of the Republic will award Cristiano Ronaldo, football player and captain of the national soccer team, with the grade of Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator.
"The decision of President Cavaco Silva aims to distinguish this internationally renowned sportsperson who has been a worldwide symbol of Portugal, thus contributing towards the country’s international image, and an example of perseverance for the new generations."
The Order of Prince Henry is awarded to those who "render outstanding services to Portugal" and who contribute to "the expansion of Portuguese culture or knowledge of Portugal, its history and its values".
The ceremony is set to take place on Tuesday at the National Palace of Belem in Lisbon.comments