Cristiano Ronaldo-Irina Shayk, husband and wife?

Cristiano Ronaldo has set rumour mills on fire after calling his supermodel Russian companion Irina Shayk as  'wife' during his speech at the FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony.

Updated: January 14, 2014 17:11 IST
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Cristiano Ronaldo may have accidentally revealed his marriage to Russian supermodel Irina Shayk when he referred to her as 'wife' during his speech at the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in Zurich on Tuesday.

While Ronaldo and Shayk have been together since 2010, they have not hinted at any plans of getting hitched. On Tuesday however, Ronaldo - emotional after being adjudged the FIFA World Player of the Year after a gap of five years - thanked his 'wife' for her support. "First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team. Without all their efforts it would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award. Everybody who have been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment." (Also see: Awards ceremony in pics)

That one word - wife -- has now set off a rumour network of epic proportions. The Real Madrid-star has a huge fan-base and his partner, Shayk, too has a global following due to her modelling assignments. This has led to media reports speculating and followers on social platforms wishing the couple. (Also read: 'Red hot' Lionel Messi outdresses Ronaldo)

Ronaldo has previously dated English models Alice Goodwin and Gemma Atkinson. He, however, has been steady with Shayk for over four years now and a marriage may not surprise many - they are, after all, parents to Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, who was born after the footballer had a one-night stand with an American waitress.

Note: At the time of publishing this article, there was no official statement from either Ronaldo or Shayk on the matter.

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