Ronaldo The GOAT: Greatest of All Time

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo with Al Nassr in 2023
Personal information
Full nameCristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth5 February 1985 (age 39)
Place of birthFunchalMadeira, Portugal
Height1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Position(s)Forward
Team information
Current team
Al Nassr
Number7
Youth career
1992–1995Andorinha
1995–1997Nacional
1997–2002Sporting CP
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2002–2003Sporting CP B2(0)
2002–2003Sporting CP25(3)
2003–2009Manchester United196(84)
2009–2018Real Madrid292(311)
2018–2021Juventus98(81)
2021–2022Manchester United40(19)
2023–Al Nassr41(43)
International career
2001Portugal U159(7)
2001–2002Portugal U177(5)
2003Portugal U205(1)
2002–2003Portugal U2110(3)
2004Portugal U233(2)
2003–Portugal206(128)

Medal record
 
Signature
Cristiano Ronaldo signature
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:00, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 21:00, 26 March 2024 (UTC)

Cristiano Ronaldo 7

( born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for and captains both Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr and the Portugal national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards,[note 3] a record three UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Awards, and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player.

Ronaldo The GOAT: Greatest of All Time

His Carrer

He has won 33 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. Ronaldo holds the records for most appearances (183), goals (140) and assists (42) in the Champions League, goals in the European Championship (14), international goals (128) and international appearances (206). He is one of the few players to have made over 1,200 professional career appearances, the most by an outfield player, and has scored over 880 official senior career goals for club and country, making him the top goalscorer of all time.

Ronaldo began his senior career with Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003, winning the FA Cup in his first season. He would also go on to win three consecutive Premier League titles, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup; at age 23, he won his first Ballon d’Or. 

Ronaldo was the subject of the then-most expensive association football transfer when he signed for Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million)

 He became a key contributor and formed an attacking trio with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale which was integral to the team winning four Champions Leagues from 2014 to 2018, including La Décima. During this period, he won back-to-back Ballons d’Or in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017, and was runner-up three times behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival. He also became the club’s all-time top goalscorer and the all-time top scorer in the Champions League, and finished as the competition’s top scorer for six consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2018.

International career

2001–2007: Youth level and senior debut

Ronaldo began his international career with Portugal under-15 in 2001. During his international youth career, Ronaldo would represent the under-15, under-17under-20under-21 and under-23 national sides, amassing 34 youth caps and scoring 18 goals overall.

Aged 18, Ronaldo made his first senior appearance for Portugal in a 1–0 win over Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003, coming on as a half-time substitute for Luís Figo. He was subsequently called up for UEFA Euro 2004, held in his home country, and scored his first international goal in a 2–1 group stage loss to eventual champions Greece, his eighth appearance for Portugal.After converting his penalty in a shoot-out against England in the quarter-finals,[383] he helped Portugal reach the final by scoring the opening goal in a 2–1 win over the Netherlands. He was featured in the team of the tournament, having provided two assists in addition to his two goals.

2007–2012: Assuming captaincy

One day after turning 22, Ronaldo captained Portugal for the first time in a friendly game against Brazil on 6 February 2007, as requested by Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) president Carlos Silva, who had died two days earlier. Ahead of Euro 2008, he was given the number 7 shirt for the first time. While he scored eight goals in qualifications, the second-highest tally, he scored just one goal in the tournament, netting the second goal of their 3–1 win in the group stage match against the Czech Republic. In the same game, he also set-up Portugal’s third goal in injury time, which was scored by Quaresma, and was named man of the match for his performance. Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals with a 3–2 loss against eventual finalists Germany.

Ronaldo scored seven goals in qualifications for Euro 2012, including two strikes against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs, to send Portugal into the tournament, where they were drawn in a “group of death“. In the last group stage game against the Netherlands, Ronaldo scored twice to secure a 2–1 win. He scored a header in the quarter-final against the Czech Republic to give his team a 1–0 win. In both games against the Netherlands and the Czech Republic he was named man of the match.[ After the semi-finals against Spain ended scoreless, Portugal were eliminated in the penalty shoot-out. Ronaldo did not take a penalty as he had been slated to take the unused fifth slot. Ronaldo’s own teammate, Nani, said that Ronaldo “demanded” to take the last penalty. As the joint top scorer with three goals, alongside five other players, he was again included in the team of the tournament.

2012–2016: All-time Portugal top scorer and European champion

Ronaldo evading Luka Modrić during a friendly match against Croatia in 2013

 

During the qualification for the 2014 World Cup, Ronaldo scored a total of eight goals. A qualifying match on 17 October 2012, a 1–1 draw against Northern Ireland, earned him his 100th cap. His first international hat-trick also came against Northern Ireland, when he scored three times in a 15-minute spell of a 4–2 qualifying win on 6 September 2013.After Portugal failed to qualify during the regular campaign, Ronaldo scored all four of the team’s goals in the play-offs against Sweden, billed as a battle between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović, which ensured their place at the tournament. His hat-trick in the second leg took his international tally to 47 goals, equalling Pauleta‘s record.[420] Ronaldo subsequently scored twice in a 5–1 friendly win over Cameroon on 5 March 2014 to become his country’s all-time top scorer.

In Portugal’s first knockout match, Ronaldo’s only attempt on goal was parried by Croatia‘s goalkeeper Danijel  Subašić into the path of Ricardo Quaresma, whose finish then secured a 1–0 win late in extra time .After his team progressed past Poland on penalties, with Ronaldo scoring Portugal’s opening penalty, he became the first player to participate in three European Championship semi-finals; he scored the opener in a 2–0 win against Wales, equalling Michel Platini as the competition’s all-time top scorer with nine goals. In the final against hosts France, Ronaldo was forced off after just 25 minutes following a challenge from Dimitri Payet, despite multiple treatments and attempts to play on, he was stretchered off the pitch and replaced by Quaresma. During extra time, substitute Eder scored in the 109th minute to earn Portugal a 1–0 victory .As team captain, Ronaldo lifted the trophy in celebration of his country’s first triumph in a major tournament. He was awarded the Silver Boot as the joint second-highest goal scorer, with three goals and three assists, and was named to the team of the tournament for the third time in his carer

2016–2018: Post-European Championship victory and World Cup

In Portugal’s opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup against Mexico on 17 June, Ronaldo set up Quaresma’s opening goal in a 2–2 draw. Three days later, he scored in a 1–0 win over hosts Russia. On 24 June, he scored from a penalty in a 4–0 win over New Zealand, which saw Portugal top their group and advance to the semi-finals of the competition; with his 75th international goal, Ronaldo also equalled Sándor Kocsis as the second-highest European international goalscorer of all time, behind only Ferenc Puskás. He was named man of the match in all three of Portugal’s group stage matches. Ronaldo left the competition early; after Chile defeated Portugal 3–0 on penalties in the semi-finals, he was allowed to return home to be with his newborn children, and missed Portugal’s third-place play-off match in which Portugal defeated Mexico 2–1 after extra time.

On 31 August 2017, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a 5–1 win in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match over the Faroe Islands, which saw him overtake Pelé and equal Hussein Saeed as the joint-fifth-highest goalscorer in international football with 78 goals.

On 15 June 2018, Ronaldo became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup match, helping Portugal secure a 3–3 draw against Spain (his third goal a 30-yard curling free kick with two minutes remaining) in their opening match. In doing so, he became the first Portuguese player to score a goal in four World Cups and one of four players of any nationality to do so.On 20 June, Ronaldo scored the only goal in a 1–0 win against Morocco, breaking Puskás’ record as the highest European goalscorer of all time, with 85 international goals.

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Career statistics

Club

As of match played 8 April 2024
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueNational cup[a]League cup[b]Continental[c]OtherTotal
DivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Sporting CP 2002–03Segunda Divisão B2020
Sporting CP2002–03Primeira Liga253323[d]000315
Manchester United2003–04Premier League29452105000406
2004–05Premier League33574208000509
2005–06Premier League3392042814712
2006–07Premier League341773101135323
2007–08Premier League343133001181[e]04942
2008–09Premier League331821421242[f]15326
Total196842613124551631292118
Real Madrid2009–10La Liga292600673533
2010–11La Liga3440[g]871265453
2011–12La Liga38465310102[h]15560
2012–13La Liga34347712122[h]25555
2013–14La Liga30316311174751
2014–15La Liga35482112105[i]25461
2015–16La Liga36350012164851
2016–17La Liga29252113122[f]44642
2017–18La Liga27260013154[j]34444
Total29231130221011051512438450
Juventus2018–19Serie A312120961[k]14328
2019–20Serie A333142841[k]04637
2020–21Serie A332942641[k]14436
2021–22Serie A1000000010
Total9881104231432134101
Manchester United2021–22Premier League30181000763824
2022–23Premier League10100006[l]2163
Total401910001385427
Al Nassr2022–23Saudi Pro League1614201[m]01914
2023–24Saudi Pro League2529219[n]67[o]64342
Total41434196866256
Career total694541744212420414929211,013757

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