Cristiano Ronaldo has demolished ‘illegal’ extensions at one of his Portuguese homes – and donated the rubble to needy families.
The Manchester United striker made good on his promise to pull down a housekeeper’s cottage and an annexe next to a tennis court at the riverside mansion near the spa town of Geres in northern Portugal.
And the bricks and other material left by bulldozers is to be given a second life after being handed to locals living on the breadline.
Manuel Tibo, mayor of Terras de Bouro which Geres forms part of, praised the star for his actions, telling local press: ‘It was a voluntary decision by Cristiano Ronaldo which should serve as an example to other property owners in the region.’
The Old Trafford hero was forced to pull down a rooftop gazebo at his Lisbon penthouse in September after being threatened with legal action.
Last month it emerged the five-times Ballon d’Or winner had got himself into hot water again with planners over the £2.3 million home near Geres.
Mr Tibo confirmed the footballer had agreed to bulldoze the tennis court and two annexes including the housekeeper’s cottage after they were declared ‘illegal.’
He told local media at the time: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo submitted a project to us for approval and ended up constructing a property which was subsequently licensed in the area where he had permission to build.
‘But he also built outside the permitted area and although we’re not talking anything that significant, it is illegal.’
The 3,200ft tennis court is expected to be razed to the ground in the next few days so the 36-year-old dad-of-four can stick to the March 2022 deadline he has committed to to get rid of the illegal builds.
Cristiano is understood to have sold the property to former Real Madrid teammate Pepe two years ago.
But respected Portuguese state broadcaster RTP discovered recently he was still registered as the official owner of the sprawling mansion in the protected Peneda-Geres National Park overlooking the picturesque Cavado River.
As well as two luxury apartments in Lisbon, the Old Trafford frontman also owns a seven-storey apartment block overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Madeiran capital Funchal where his mum and brother live and a £4.8m on a fortress estate just outside Madrid called La Finca.
Cristiano is also having a new mansion built on a large plot of land in Quinta da Marinha on the so-called Portuguese Riviera, half an hour from Lisbon Airport and ten minutes from the centre of the coastal town of Cascais.
The top-ever international goalscorer, whose partner Georgina Rodriguez is expecting twins, admitted defeat in September over the controversial gazebo at his £6.5 million Lisbon penthouse. The Lisbon apartment block’s design architect had pledged to take him to court unless he removed it.
Jose Mateus accused Ronaldo of ‘scoring an own goal’ and ‘dishonouring his work’ in an astonishing attack on the former Juventus forward as planning chiefs announced an investigation in May soon after the existence of the gazebo was revealed.
Cristiano’s elder sister Elma Aveiro waded into the planning controversy at one point by branding Mr Mateus ‘mentally slow’ in an astonishing defence of her brother.