Ronaldo hoped to become ‘the new Hugh Hefner’ and buy entire Playboy franchise

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Ronaldo once hoped to become the "new Hugh Hefner" by buying an entire Playboy franchise in his native Brazil.

The legendary former Real Madrid footballer has built up an impressive business portfolio since hanging up his boots in 2011, including a chain of gyms and a sports health clinic. However, in 2013, he was rumoured to be eyeing a new venture, by buying the Brazilian branch of Playboy, which at the time was the third largest in the world.

Sources close to him told local magazine Extra, via the Daily Mail, at the time that he viewed the soft-porn publication as a "lucrative business opportunity".

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Brazilian Playboy were selling around 250,000 copies a month in 2013, making them the third most popular version of the magazine. However, they had been on a gradual decline from their peak during the 1990s, which saw them achieve monthly sales of up to one million copies.

Despite the decline in sales, sources claimed that Ronaldo believed he had the "midas touch" required to resurrect the publication.

Ronaldo had built up an impressive business portfolio following his retirement from professional football. His football marketing firm 9INE were predicted to earn £15million in 2014, according to a spokesperson.

What is the strangest footballer business venture you have seen? Let us know in the comments section below.

The company managed the image rights for a host of players around the world, including fellow Brazilian superstar Neymar.

Meanwhile, he also had valuable sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike, Fiat and Duracell which were said to be worth £10million-per-year.

His other business ventures included a six-storey apartment building which housed university students and a nightclub in Rio de Janeiro's affluent Leblon neighbourhood.

Although he ultimately failed in his attempts to purchase Brazilian Playboy, Ronaldo has since continued to bolster his business interests in football.

He owned a stake in American side Fort Lauderdale Strikers for three years between 2014 and 2017, before buying Spanish club Real Valladolid a year later.

As well as acting as Valladolid president, Ronaldo has since purchased a second club in the form of his former club Cruzeiro, who he has owned since December last year.

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