Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best football players of all time that has marked his name in the history books of this sport for his goals, skills, feats, and titles won.
A five-time Ballon d'Or winner, five times UEFA Champions Champion League winner, European Champion with the Portugal National Football Team, four times European Golden Boot winner, and the highest historical goal scorer in the history of the sport.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cristiano and his phenomenal career.
Cristiano Ronaldo Career Stats
His successful career began in Funchal, playing in football teams of that town such as the Andorinha and Nacional da Madeira before spending 14 years at Sporting Clube in Portugal, one of the biggest clubs in the whole country.
In the Leoes he would progress professionally and thanks to a friendly match that faced the Portuguese club with Manchester United during the preseason in 2003, he would end up signing for the Red Devils where he would be known to the world and where he would go from being an extremely skillful winger to a much more versatile attacker and especially a much more capable goalscorer.
His six years at United would prove to be quite important for him and for the club as a whole due to how much they accomplished together and how much Cristiano developed, particularly highlighting the 2008 UEFA Champions League victory, which led him to win his first Ballon d'Or, and, soon after in 2009, signing for Real Madrid.
With Los Merengues, he would mark an era where he would become the highest goalscorer of the club with 450 goals in 438 matches, especially highlighting the period where he would win three UEFA Champions League in a row from 2016 to 2018.
In those seasons, the Portuguese scored 43 goals in 38 matches in the competition, some as important as a hat-trick against Wolfsburg in 2016 which meant the comeback to reach the semifinals, the hat-trick against the Atletico de Madrid at the 2017 semifinals, the two goals in the Cardiff Final of that same year or the two goals in the Juventus Stadium in 2018 with a bicycle kick goal included.
For the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Madrid would change by Turin to sign for Juventus where he would remain for three and would win two Serie A league titles, two Series A Footballer of the Year Awards, and a Capocannoniere goalscorer award, before returning to Old Trafford in 2021.
At 36 years old, he would go back to the place where he was a legend and where despite his age, he has been an important player with 18 goals on 31 matches, where the 6 goals in the first 5 matches of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage were quite important as they allowed the English club to reach the next round.
In that round, Atletico de Madrid awaited them with the always difficult Diego “El Cholo” Simeone at the helm. In the first leg, the Spanish club was playing at home and had a pretty good match where they complicated United in many different ways and one was preventing Cristiano Ronaldo from receiving the ball comfortably or frequently, which minimized his impact in the game.
After the good performance in the second half of 2021, Cristiano would meet a difficult 2022 where he could not score goals until after turning 37, in a Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion.
On March 12, he would return to the starting eleven from Manchester United against Tottenham, after an absence by injury in the previous match, which happened to be the Derby against Manchester City that was a tough defeat for the Red Devils by 4-1.
Against the Spurs, the Portuguese star couldn’t ask for a better start since, just in the 12th minute, he received a great pass by his teammate, the Brazilian midfielder Fred, to then beat Lloris with a powerful shot from outside the box. Tottenham would level the score after a handball by United defender Alex Telles was sanctioned within the United box and Harry Kane Box scored the penalty. Only 3 minutes later, Cristiano would reappear, this time by scoring after a good pass by Jadon Sancho and ending a good counterattack of the Red Devils in the best possible manner.
The opposition team coached by Antonio Conte would return to tie, this time thanks to an own goal by the United captain, Harry Maguire, although that would not prevent the Manchester club to win the game since once again, Ronaldo would appear, this time with a header after a corner to complete his hat-trick, the number 59 of his professional career, and also to give the 3 points to his team.
Far from being another hat-trick in Ronaldo’s career, with the first goal he reached Josef Bican with 805 goals as the top historical scorer of the world football according to FIFA and with the two remaining goals, it established the mark in 807… So far.
That record clearly demonstrates the ability that the Portuguese has to score goals. Funny enough, this was not something innate since his profile when he started his career was very different. In fact, in his first two seasons in the Premier League he only managed to score 13 goals in 52 matches. It was Sir Alex Ferguson that helped him train other qualities such as his heading, his positioning and management of the two profiles that allowed him to make transition to the relentless scorer he is now.
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In the second leg of the round of 16 against Atletico, United would have a very good first half where Cristiano Ronaldo would have some very good interventions showing a mobility that does not seem to belong to a player of his age. Like the rest of his team, when the Spanish club scored at Old Trafford through left-back Renan Lodi, his performance dropped considerably and this led to the elimination of the Red Devils from the UEFA Champions League.
On the other hand, with the Portugal national team, Cristiano Ronaldo has had a growing career, remembering that he was part of the team that lost the Euro final at home against Greece in 2004 but would later recover in 2016, beating France with that remembered goal by Eder in extra time. Additionally, he won the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, capturing Portugal’s only two major trophies. In that long career with his national team, Cristiano became the all-time international top goalscorer with 115 goals, beating Ali Daei and the only player to achieve 10 hat-tricks in international senior men’s football.
One more challenge awaits the Portuguese star with his national team, which is the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although first, Portugal must overcome qualification against Turkey at the end of March. Although Portugal is not a favorite, the fact of having Cristiano and the recent history such as the 2016 Euro or the 2019 Nations League, this is something worth taking into account.
Despite being 37 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo is a footballer in excellent physical condition that allows him to be a very competitive and dangerous player, as evidenced by the fact that he is the oldest player to score two goals in a match in the Euro or the oldest player to score with the Portugal national team–therefore we can see that age is not a limitation for the Portuguese.
Cristiano has good experience and some abilities that allow him to find spaces to score. To this we must add his world class finishing with any foot or his head. In fact, the variety of resources to score goals is what makes him difficult to mark and what he uses as his main weapon.
Overall, one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports and a great testament to the value of dedication, discipline and hard work.