Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who needs no introduction. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past fifteen years, you’ve surely heard his name at least once. The Portuguese forward is one of those players you’ll see only once or twice in a lifetime. He is a footballing genius, accomplished athlete and has brought success wherever he has played.
See also: David De Gea is the Messi of goalkeepers
To get a measure of what he has achieved so far, we have to look at the numbers depicting his excellence.
Ronaldo arrived in Manchester in 2003, taking the iconic number 7 worn by David Beckham before him, hoping to replace the British midfielder who had gone to Madrid. He left United for the same Real Madrid six years later, having scored 118 goals and won three Premier League titles and one Champions League.
He then spent nine years at the Bernabeu, overseeing one of the most prolific time period for the Spanish club, bringing in two la Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
His major triumph with Portugal at the national level was when he helped them win Euro 2016 against hosts, favorites and future World Cup winners France. Portugal were unfancied to do well in the tournament, especially after they only qualified from the group stage with three draws and third place but Captain Ronaldo dragged them all the way to the final and brought Portugal’s first international trophy home.
Ronaldo’s trophy haul cannot necessarily be compared to other players (with some exceptions). Ronaldo instead competes with clubs. Only Madrid and Milan have won more champions leagues than Ronaldo, with Bayern, Liverpool and Barcelona equaling his total of 5. Ex-club Manchester United’s and current club Juventus’ combined total equals that of Ronaldo.
Individually, Ronaldo has scored a ridiculous number of goals, especially at the club level. 122 of his goals have come in Europe, with a grand total of 585 at club level. Add to that 85 goals with the Portuguese national team, 68 of which came in competitive games.
Ronaldo has collected so many collective and individual awards across his career and while doing so, has broken multiple records.
Here are some of his other impressive achievements:
- Champions League top scorer 7 times
- Only player to score 50 goals or more in 7 consecutive calendar years
- Only player in history to have scored 60 or more goals in a calendar year four times (consecutively from 2011 to 2014)
- Most matches won in the UEFA Champions League: 100 wins
Seeing Ronaldo play and bang in the goals week in week out gives an idea of his talent. When you add up the numbers, you truly see the excellence of the man. It’s no secret Ronaldo has always desired to be the best player on the planet and constantly works himself to death to achieve that. Many of his colleagues have been impressed by the extent to which he is invested in maintaining his athletic prowess.
Patrice Evra famously mentioned that going for lunch at Ronaldo’s place felt like a training session, with healthy food and plenty of exercise on the menu.
He is a machine, never wants to stop training. Being serious, he deserves everything he has as he has worked so hard. – Patrice Evra on Ronaldo.
We are indeed lucky to see Cristiano Ronaldo play during our lifetime. He is truly the archetype of the perfect sportsman. Competition, dedication and the pursuit of excellence – that’s what Cristiano is all about.
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Picture from Pixabay