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Cristiano Ronaldo and family protected by ex elite special forces twins who served in Afghanistan

Cristiano Ronaldo and his family are being protected by twin brothers who served in an elite special forces unit in Afghanistan.

The footballer, 36 – who signed for Man United for a second time in August – was previously seen guarded by the brothers in September shortly after they were hired as he prepared to jet to Switzerland with the squad for a Champions League tie.

One of the twins was also spotted earlier this month at the birthday party organised by his pregnant girlfriend Georgia Rodriguez for their daughter Alana Martina, four,  in Madrid. 

Security: Cristiano Ronaldo and his family are being protected by twin brothers who served in an elite special forces unit in Afghanistan

The bodyguards have now been revealed as brothers Sergio and Jorge Ramalheiro, former soldiers who fought in Afghanistan before going on to join a Portuguese police close protection unit protecting judges and politicians.

Portuguese celeb magazine Flash said the twins, part of a set of triplets, had been hired by Cristiano after they requested to go on unpaid leave from the PSP police to pursue other interests.

The third brother, named as Alexandre, is still understood to be working as a police officer.

An insider told local media: ‘Sergio and Jorge dress elegantly and look very normal.

Guards: The footballer, 36 - who signed for Man United for a second time in August - was previously seen guarded by the brothers in September shortly after they were hired as he prepared to jet to Switzerland with the squad for a Champions League tie

Guards: The footballer, 36 – who signed for Man United for a second time in August – was previously seen guarded by the brothers in September shortly after they were hired as he prepared to jet to Switzerland with the squad for a Champions League tie

‘They are capable of mixing with the crowd but they are quick to think, see and act at the right moment.’

Cristiano’s security team caught the eye when the twins accompanied him to Manchester Airport for the start of his team’s Champions League campaign against Swiss team Young Boys.

The stylish pair, whose identities had not been made public at the time, helped the forward with his luggage after dropping him off for the flight.

Reports at the time said the Portuguese international and his family would receive round-the-clock protection following his return to Old Trafford.

The star – who recently announced girlfriend Georgina was pregnant with twins – was said to have taken steps to ramp up his security after being warned he was set to become a ‘magnet’ for criminal gangs.

Family: One of the twins (pictured right) was also spotted earlier this month at the birthday party organised by his pregnant girlfriend Georgia Rodriguez for their daughter Alana Martina, four, in Madrid

Family: One of the twins (pictured right) was also spotted earlier this month at the birthday party organised by his pregnant girlfriend Georgia Rodriguez for their daughter Alana Martina, four, in Madrid 

Revealed: The bodyguards have now been revealed as brothers Sergio and Jorge Ramalheiro, former soldiers who fought in Afghanistan before going on to join a Portuguese police close protection unit protecting judges and politicians

Revealed: The bodyguards have now been revealed as brothers Sergio and Jorge Ramalheiro, former soldiers who fought in Afghanistan before going on to join a Portuguese police close protection unit protecting judges and politicians

In the past, Cristiano has been protected by a former MMA fighter and an ex-elite paratrooper.

Former paratrooper Nuno Marecos helped keep the footballer safe when he was still playing for Spanish side Real Madrid.

At the time his identity became public in June 2018, Nuno was described as the leader of a group of men based in a town near Lisbon who entertained crowds in bullfights during their free time.

The  men form a line facing the bull and risk injury and death by encouraging it to charge them before grabbing hold of the animal and trying to overpower it using their combined strength.

Protection: Cristiano's security team caught the eye when the twins accompanied him to Manchester Airport for the start of his team’s Champions League campaign against Swiss team Young Boys

Protection: Cristiano’s security team caught the eye when the twins accompanied him to Manchester Airport for the start of his team’s Champions League campaign against Swiss team Young Boys

Eight men – known as forcados – use their muscle and intelligence to subdue the bull.

Nuno was described as the leader of his group in the Portuguese town of Chamusca a 70 mile drive from Lisbon and the first man to face the bull whose job it is to egg the animal on to get it to charge before grabbing hold of the its head and holding onto its neck while his team pile in.

A former MMA fighter named Goncalo Salgado was also pictured keeping watch on Cristiano at the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev.

The 6ft 2 man mountain, who has protected star surfers like Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina in the past, has an MMA record of seven fights with five KOs as a super heavyweight between 2006 and 2011.

The twins now watching over Cristiano and his family hail from a place called Ansiao near the city of Pombal, which is a two-hour drive north of Lisbon.

Keeping him safe: Reports at the time said the Portuguese international and his family would receive round-the-clock protection following his return to Old Trafford

Keeping him safe: Reports at the time said the Portuguese international and his family would receive round-the-clock protection following his return to Old Trafford 

The siblings joined the army straight from school and ended up in a special forces unit called the Commandos, who were created in Angola in 1962.

Their war cry Mama Sumae is taken from a southern Angolan tribe and translates as ‘Here we are, ready for the sacrifice.’

Their mum Leonilde, cast into the spotlight when her triplets made headlines in their homeland with their decision to serve their country, joked in a June 2004 report in national newspaper Correio da Manha: ‘They only come home every fortnight to wash their clothes.’

A former lieutenant colonel the triplets served under told the paper at the time: ‘They are very strong mentally and physically.’

It comes after Cristiano and girlfriend Georgina announced on Instagram last month that they were expecting twins and gushed their ‘hearts are full of love.’

Congratulations! It comes after Cristiano and girlfriend Georgina announced on Instagram last month that they were expecting twins and gushed their 'hearts are full of love'

Congratulations! It comes after Cristiano and girlfriend Georgina announced on Instagram last month that they were expecting twins and gushed their ‘hearts are full of love’ 

Cristiano, who will welcome his second and third child with Georgina, 27, wrote: ‘Delighted to announce we are expecting twins. Our hearts are full of love – we can’t wait to meet you.’ 

The sportsman’s post showed himself and Georgina proudly showing their twins’ ultrasounds, along with an image of his four children swimming together. 

The Argentinian beauty shared the same images and caption on her own grid. 

Georgina shares daughter Alana, with Cristiano, and the Manchester United star also has son Cristiano Jnr, 11, and twins Eva and Mateo, four.

Announcement: Cristiano, who will welcome his second and third child with Georgina, 27, wrote: 'Delighted to announce we are expecting twins. Our hearts are full of love - we can't wait to meet you'

Announcement: Cristiano, who will welcome his second and third child with Georgina, 27, wrote: ‘Delighted to announce we are expecting twins. Our hearts are full of love – we can’t wait to meet you’

Cute: Along with the announcement, Cristiano posted an image of himself alongside his four children Cristiano Jnr, 11, Eva and Mateo, four, and Alana in the swimming pool

Cute: Along with the announcement, Cristiano posted an image of himself alongside his four children Cristiano Jnr, 11, Eva and Mateo, four, and Alana in the swimming pool

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk