Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is synonymous with arguably the three biggest clubs in the three biggest European leagues.
Dominating the Premier League with Manchester United, running riot at Real Madrid and cementing his legacy at Juventus – he’s scored quite a few along the way.
While ‘CR7’ is often pit against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in the debate surrounding who is the greatest of the modern era, the Portugal talisman is without doubt one of the best to ever play the game.
Now aged 35, he’s showing few signs of age catching up with him.
Notching the first of his 744 career goals for boyhood club Sporting Lisbon against Moreirense back in October 2002, Ronaldo has since lit up European football with stints at some of the biggest clubs the continent has to offer.
Catching Sir Alex Ferguson’s eye in a pre-season clash while still at Sporting, Ronaldo would go on to enjoy to six seasons at Manchester United, in which he made 292 appearances and secured his place in the ‘100’ club, bagging 118 goals for the Red Devils.
During his time in the red half of Manchester, Ronaldo managed to balance personal accolades with team ones, his honours list at United making for remarkable reading:
- 3x Premier League
- 1x Champions League
- 1x FA Cup
- 1x FIFA Club World Cup
- 3x League Cup
However, after six seasons under Sir Alex’s guidance Ronaldo swapped Manchester for Madrid, where he would eventually become one the greatest ‘Galácticos’ of them all at Real.
Turning out for ‘Los Blancos’ a whopping total of 438 times, Ronaldo managed to pull off the unbelievable feat of averaging more than a goal a game, notching 451 goals in his nine seasons at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Having already secured his first FIFA Ballon d’Or back in Manchester, it was in Madrid where Ronaldo would go on to cement his status as one of greatest of all time, winning the individual award another four times.
At club level, he also won:
- 2x La Liga
4x UEFA Champions League
- 2x Copa del Rey
- 2x UEFA Super Cup
- 3x FIFA Club World Cup
His most notable contributions in the famous white and gold strip have to be three Champions League final goals; a last gasp penalty in 2014 against fierce rivals Atletico Madrid, before getting a brace in the 2017 final against Juventus.
Ronaldo’s last Champions League campaign at Real Madrid in 2018 is perhaps best remembered for his spectacular bicycle kick away at Juventus, leaving even the home fans open-mouthed and on their feet in amazement.
It was clearly a moment that stayed with ‘CR7’, as that very same summer he would join the Turin giants.
Currently sitting on 92 appearances for ‘The Old Lady’, Ronaldo has scored 70 goals in Juve colours and won Serie A during his first two seasons in Turin.
Ronaldo career highlights
- Dipping pile-driver of a free-kick against Portsmouth while at Manchester United is widely regarded as one of the best dead-ball efforts the Premier League has ever seen.
- Featuring in 30 ‘El Classico’ encounters during his time at Real Madrid, Ronaldo was the scourge of Barcelona on many occasions, his best goal against them coming in 2015, a delightful half volley in the 85th minute to secure a memorable away win.
- Coming into the second leg 2-0 down to Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo delivered a stunning hat-trick for Juventus to see them overturn the first-leg deficit as he single-handedly dragged Juventus through to the next round of the Champions League.
Whereas long-time nemesis Lionel Messi has struggled on the international stage, Ronaldo has shone there too.
As Portugal’s record appearance holder (167) and record goal-scorer (101), Ronaldo can even boast two major international honours in his trophy cabinet.
Though he picked up an injury early on in the first half of the final, Ronaldo famously spent the remainder of the clash against France operating as a makeshift player-manager to help his country over the line for their first European Championship title in 2016.
Three years later he led them victory in the first ever UEFA Nations League tournament.
Consistently shattering records, Ronaldo boasts a number of impressive individual achievements, including:
- Fastest player in Juventus history to hit half a century of goals
- Joint most hat-tricks in Champions League history with eight
- Only man to score 50 goals in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A
- One of only six players to surpass the 700 goal mark, (alongside Lionel Messi, Gerd Muller, Josef Bican, Pele, Romario and Ferenc Puskás)
Arguably the most stunning statistic in a career littered with unbelievable achievements, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 56 career hat-tricks, in among his ludicrous overall total of 744 goals.