A young Portugal fan was reduced to tears after thinking he had missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet his hero, before being surprised at the last minute.

Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo was already seated on the team bus when the boy managed to evade security and approach the back door.

In a heartwarming gesture the five-time Ballon d'Or winner appeared at the door and high-fived the fan, who was wearing his idol's number seven shirt, the Daily Mail reported.

Ronaldo then gave the youngster a hug and wiped tears from his cheeks before posing for a photo.

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Appearing relaxed and in no rush to get back on the bus, the Real Madrid forward embraced the boy again and produced a marker to sign his Portugal jersey.

A similar encounter followed at the airport when Ronaldo again stopped to make time for a young fan before the team's departure for the Russia World Cup.

At Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon another young fan approached Ronaldo and the national team.

Ronaldo again posed for photos and signed the boy's jersey, leaving the fan overcome with emotion.

"He loves the national team so he is now very happy," the boy's mother told reporters after the emotional moment.

"He managed to get an autograph from Cristiano Ronaldo and now he is crying with happiness."

Ronaldo's generosity was followed by a brilliant hat-trick against Spain in his side's World Cup opener in Sochi on Friday.

The record-breaking performance saw the 33-year-old become just the fourth player to score in four different World Cups, and the first ever to score in eight major international tournaments.