During the 2005 invasion of Afghanistan, three Portuguese men stood out because of their physical resemblances, which caught the children’s attention. Jorge, Sérgio and Alexandre starred in the military contingent allocated to the conflict in a report shown on RTP which chronicled the soldiers’ difficult times away from their families during the Christmas period.
Far from their parents but close to their brothers, the commando-trained triplets were only 20 years old when they roamed the dangerous streets of Kabul. This wasn’t the first appearance of the famous military twins, who were interviewed by SIC a year earlier as recent graduates of the Commandos course – where they were awarded first places.
Almost two decades later, two of them are back in the spotlight, this time in the background of the documentary Eu, Georgina, where they appear several times accompanied by Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend. They, brothers Jorge and Sérgio, are also responsible for the safety of the player and his family.
Today they are also new for less good reasons. According to the Attorney General’s Office, the two Ramalheiro brothers are targeted for disciplinary proceedings and another criminal is approaching the “Observador” on suspicion of illegal security practices.
Jorge and Sergio, who gave up their military careers to join the PSP’s Personal Security Corps, are currently on unpaid leave. According to The Observador, the duo have been seen in the company of Ronaldo since May, allegedly in violation of the ban on “the exercise of any private security activity in Portugal without prior licensing and qualifications”, which constitutes a criminal offence.
The brothers could also face an internal disciplinary action in the PSP, although little is known on the matter. Alexandre, the youngest of the triplets, was the one who fled to the GNR where he graduated after his military career.
It was he who revealed in 2004 where his passion for the group came from. “Even when we were little, we wanted to be part of a special group. The commands fascinated us from the start,” he explains in the SIC report. Sérgio already recalled his fascination “for the Overseas Commands” and “for their determination in carrying out missions”.
“Our grandfather was in Africa, he wasn’t in the military, but he was hugely fascinated with the military and always liked that we had this career,” he told RTP in 2018.
The three former federal track and field athletes dropped out of class in 12th grade, preferring to graduate with honors in the military field. And with success: They integrated the close circle of the six best students in the course.
“Back then we were thinking about what to do with our lives. And the normal would be, until we pursued a college career, we had a good average. But we thought we would split up, spend our parents’ money for five years, with no guaranteed future,” Alexandre explained. “Sérgio had the idea there and we decided to continue.”
Of the three men born in Ansião, Leiria District, Alexandre is the least physically similar. Between Sérgio and Jorge it is difficult to find the differences. Not even the instructors could tell them apart. “They had a leg injury and changed groups. The instructor didn’t recognize them because they were limping on the same leg,” Alexandre recalled to RTP.
Immediately after completing the course, they went on missions to Angola. On the way back, they recruited themselves into Afghanistan, where US forces and their allies were attempting to combat the terrorist groups responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers.
The three brothers completed the comandos
There they caught the eye in an RTP report that even broke protocols for a play and sent the three brothers out on patrol together. The twins’ departure in the same contingent was even discussed by the officials, who didn’t want them to go together. Only after some urging did they get permission.
They returned after seven months and took the Public Safety Police course, even though they had volunteered for a new assignment in Afghanistan, which would not happen. Jorge even worked in Timor as a personal security guard for the Portuguese ambassador. Sergio, in turn, was stationed in Kinshasa, Congo. Alexandre separated from his two brothers and enlisted in the Republican National Guard.
They would eventually complete the specific course for the Personal Security Corps, which also led them to work in places like the Ministry of Defense with Augusto Santos Silva and José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, or the Ministry of Economy.
Sérgio was eventually invited to become part of the President of the Republic’s security team. Two months later, Jorge also received an invitation from the security chief of the Presidency of the Republic. Cavaco Silva was then President.
And alongside Cavaco Silva, Jorge returned to appear on screens in all countries when in 2014 he had to detain the president who collapsed during a speech commemorating Portugal Day.
At the time of this interview with RTP and when asked about the future at PSP and if they would spend the rest of their lives in uniform, Jorge and Sérgio guaranteed they would. “Yes, that’s the goal,” Jorge remarked. “Let’s see what life has in store for us.”
They wouldn’t be staying with the security forces much longer. At least since 2021 you can see her regularly with Cristiano Ronaldo and his family, always in a suit and with headphones. They appear in more or less relaxed poses in the documentary, which was released on Netflix in January.
In it, they accompany the couple’s children, always a few meters away from Georgina, even in a private jet. And there they are caught helping the ace’s wife take photos for Instagram.
The anonymity, even outside the country, would not last long as Italian newspapers – even before the move to Manchester United in 2021 – highlighted the constant presence of the two elite soldiers. Now that fame has translated into a more complicated legal situation, which could end her career in security – or as agents of the PSP.
One of the brothers featured in the documentary photographs Georgina Rodríguez