MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's most expensive football star, has become a father.

His website said Sunday that the mother was a mystery American woman whose identity is being kept a secret.

The Real Madrid winger and Portugal captain said "it is with great joy and emotion that I inform I have recently become father to a baby boy. As agreed with the baby's mother, who prefers to have her identity kept confidential, my son will be under my exclusive guardianship".

No date for the birth was given though the boy is said to be a month old.

The 25-year-old Ronaldo is not married but has over the past few years become a womaniser of note. He has had high-profile flings with tennis star Maria Sharapova, 23, Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, 26, socialites Paris Hilton, 29, and Kim Kardashian, 29.

"I request everyone to fully respect my right to privacy (and that of the child) at least on issues as personal as these are," he said.

Hours after the announcement on Ronaldo's Facebook and Twitter sites his pages were suspended.

Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha reported on its website yesterday that Ronaldo's mother, Dolores, and his sisters Elma and Katia, were dealing with the paperwork necessary to bring the child to Portugal.

During 2009 Ronaldo spent time in homes the player had in Los Angeles and Miami, the paper said.

"Gestifute confirms the veracity of Ronaldo's statement," Correio da Manha said.

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