As Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to make his debut for Al Nassr, we reminisce about his legendary career by picking his greatest goals.
“CR7” is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in football history. His incredible goal record and collection of accolades are almost unmatched by his peers. As a result, Ronaldo possesses a number of all-time stats and feats. For instance, he is the all-time leading scorer in Champions League history, holding the same record in men’s international football, too.
We, therefore, have 819 goals from which to choose his best. Here are our five picks for the greatest goals from Cristiano Ronaldo.
#5: vs Sampdoria, 2019/20 Serie A
Kicking off our list is a header that personifies Ronaldo’s freakish athleticism perfectly. It also comes from a rather underrated period in the Portugal star’s career – his stint at Juventus.
During their Serie A game against Sampdoria, Juve full-back Alex Sandro sent a long cross to the back post. Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo awaited the ball in the perfect spot. He then jumped to an almost unbelievable height to high point the cross with a header.
Despite contact from a defender far beneath him, the forward maintained body control to direct a bullet header back across goal. His header sent the ball flying to the far top corner, with the shot hitting the net before Ronaldo even returned to the ground.
It was an absolutely stunning leap from the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with fantastic technique on the header, too. In addition, this strike added to Ronaldo’s tally of decisive goals. It proved the match-winner as the Old Lady took a 2-1 win on the day.
Juventus then went on to claim yet another Serie A title at the end of the 2019/20 season – another league medal for CR7.
#4: vs Galatasaray, 2013/14 Champions League group stage
At number four of his greatest goals is an effort where Cristiano Ronaldo showed off all his thrills and skills.
After already scoring twice and assisting once, the Real Madrid talisman sealed a hat-trick with a fantastic solo goal. Picking up the ball from Karim Benzema, Ronaldo slowed down to face up Aurelien Chedjou. Then, the winger produced a dazzling stepover and drop of the shoulder to cut inside the defender.
As he made his way into the box, Ronaldo cut past another opponent, leaving them helpless on the floor. He finally burst past another defender before unleashing a rocket shot with his left foot. This fired past Fernando Muslera, who had picked the ball out of his net six times thanks to Ronaldo and co.
Los Blancos won this group-stage encounter 6-1. During the 2013/14 campaign, Real claimed “La Decima” – their elusive tenth Champions League title.
Away from that, this standout goal from Ronaldo summed up what an electric player he was at the time.
#3: vs Osasuna, 2011/12 La Liga
Throughout his career, CR7 has crafted a niche of scoring dipping, long-range strikes. This one from 2012 against Osasuna is arguably the best of the lot from Cristiano Ronaldo, though, and is number three on our greatest goals list.
The Real Madrid star was absolutely electric throughout this La Liga clash. He finished the 5-1 win with two goals and two assists, totally dominating the opposition. However, the most memorable part was definitely his first goal.
For those wanting to watch it on the video below, the goal is 26 seconds in.
After Xabi Alonso fizzed a pass out to Ronaldo on the left-hand side, the forward controlled the ball and looked up. He had space in front of him. So, CR7 took a touch out of his feet and launched a rocket from his right foot.
The ball swerved through the air, flying past the helpless keeper into the top corner of the net. Ronaldo, standing 35 yards from goal – where he took his shot from – then proceeded to produce a brilliant celebration. He pointed at his right leg, flexing the strength and power that he had generated in the shot.
This scintillating effort and performance typified the high-octane football that Jose Mourinho’s 2011/12 Real side played. Los Blancos went on to secure the league title that season – Ronaldo’s first in Spain.
Incredibly, though, even this speculative shot has been outranked by an award-winning goal.
#2: vs Porto, 2008/09 Champions League quarter-final 2nd leg
Seeing as this strike won Cristiano Ronaldo the inaugural Puskas award, it has to be in his greatest goals collection.
This insane effort actually turned out to be a tie-winning goal. After drawing the first leg 2-2 at Old Trafford, Ronaldo scored this goal to knock Porto out of the Champions League.
As CR7 received the ball at least forty yards out, no-one in the Estadio do Dragao expected the Man United winger to shoot. But that is exactly what he did. Thanks to a superb example of power and technique, Ronaldo arrowed a shot from unbelievable range into the far top corner.
Despite the keeper Helton’s best efforts, he really had no chance of saving this outrageously powerful strike. According to 90min, the shot travelled at a breath-taking 64.2 mph – an absolute thunderbolt.
This goal sent Man United through to the UCL semi-finals, where they beat Arsenal to reach their second successive Champions League showpiece.
Unfortunately, the Red Devils ran into Barcelona in Rome. The iconic Barca side claimed a 2-0 victory, with Ronaldo’s old rival, Lionel Messi, grabbing a goal.
#1: vs Juventus, 2017/18 Champions League quarter-final
You already knew it would be this one, didn’t you?
One of the greatest Champions League goals of all time, this Cristiano Ronaldo bicycle kick tops our list. But don’t just take it from us; the man himself rated this as his favourite-ever goal.
In 2018, “Mr Champions League” had even Juventus fans standing to applaud a now legendary strike.
Following some confusion between Juve players, a Gianluigi Buffon save came out to Dani Carvajal. The Real full back dug out a cross, which was actually behind Ronaldo. Not to worry, though – he had something special up his sleeve.
Rising into the air, the iconic forward produced a stunning overhead kick of textbook technique. His effort sailed beautifully into the bottom corner past Buffon, prompting applause of admiration from all.
The goal produced some incredible reactions. Real manager Zinedine Zidane shook his head in disbelief, meanwhile, Juve’s Andrea Barzagli threw his arms in the air in frustrated bewilderment.
Most importantly, though, it doubled Real’s advantage on the night. Ronaldo had already scored, then this made it 2-0. A Marcelo goal saw Los Blancos take a 3-0 advantage back to Spain for the second leg.
Although Juve nearly came back in the reverse fixture, Madrid advanced thanks to a Ronaldo penalty. Later, they capped off the 2017/18 season – Ronaldo’s last in Spain – with a third consecutive UCL title.
This goal was an iconic moment from that historic Real three-peat. Ronaldo put his world-class ability and athleticism on full display for this one; it is absolutely the greatest goal of his career.
Featured image credit: Getty