Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has signalled his support for the impending introduction of gay marriage in his native Portgual.

Ronaldo, brought up on the Portuguese island of Maderia said: ““As I am Portuguese, I try to keep myself informed about what is happening in my country.

“We must respect the choices of each other, because, after all, all citizens should have the same rights and responsibilities.”

On Saturday, Portugal will become the sixth country in Europe to legalise gay marriage after its president approved legislation last month.

The Catholic country’s parliament passed a bill allowing gay couples to wed in January and it was ratified by President Anibal Cavaco Silva yesterday.

The law was passed just three days after Pope Benedict XVI finished a visit to Portugal. He had warned his followers that allowing gay marriage was a “dangerous threat to the common good”.

In 2006, Ronaldo was named the top World Cup pin-up by a gay magazine.