"It is with great joy and emotion that I inform I have recently become father to a baby boy." In the early hours of Sunday morning Cristiano Ronaldo made this surprise announcement on his Facebook and Twitter pages.
At first fans thought the Portuguese footballer had fallen prey to an internet hacker, but his agent confirmed the story, saying: "Yes, it's true. We make no further comment."
The 24-year-old continued his shock message: "As agreed with the baby's mother, who prefers to have her identity kept confidential, my son will be under my exclusive guardianship."
Cristiano is currently dating Russian underwear model Irina Shayk, but the baby's mother is said to be from the US.
It is thought the baby – whose name is not known – will be brought up in Portugal by the Real Madrid star's mother Dolores and sisters Elma and Katia.
A Portugese newspaper is reporting that the child was born in June and it is understood he is already in Portugal.
Nothing is yet known about the exact nature of Cristiano's relationship with the mother. In the past the sportsman has been linked to Paris Hilton, tennis star Maria Sharapova and reality TV beauty Kim Kardashian.