Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese footballer who currently captains the Portugal national team and plays for the club Juventus in the top Italian league, Serie A. Ronaldo began his club career playing for Sporting CP in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. He then moved to the English Premier League (EPL), where he played for Manchester United. After winning the FA Cup in his first season for United, he helped his team win three successive EPL titles, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ahead of the 2009–10 season, Ronaldo joined Spanish football club Real Madrid. It was at Real Madrid that he achieved stupendous success. Apart from winning two La Liga titles and two Copas del Rey with the club, he helped Madrid win four UEFA Champions League titles. Ronaldo then moved to the Italian club Juventus. With Juventus winning the Serie A in his debut season, he became the only player to win league titles in England, Spain and Italy. Ronaldo has had a stellar career as part of the Portugal team too. Apart from other things, he led Portugal to victory in the 2016 Euro Cup, their first major trophy; and his 99 international goals are the most by a European player. Ronaldo has received numerous awards over the course of his career including being the Ballons d’Or winner 5 times, the most after Lionel Messi (6). Here are the 10 most important accomplishments of Cristiano Ronaldo including his records in club and international football; as well as awards and honors received by him.
* All stats in the video are as of March, 2020. We will try to update them annually.
#1 He swept the major EPL awards for the 2006–07 season
Cristiano Ronaldo made his club debut at the age of 17 on October 7, 2002 playing for Sporting CP, one of the “Três Grandes (Big Three)” clubs in Portuguese Primeira Liga. In his debut match against Moreirense, he scored two goals in a 3–0 win. In his one and only season for Sporting CP, Ronaldo managed 3 goals and 3 assists in 25 matches. He soon grabbed the attention of the biggest football clubs in Europe and was signed by English powerhouse Manchester United in 2003. He made his debut in the English Premier League (EPL) in a 4–0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers on August 16, 2003. In his first season in the EPL, Ronaldo scored 4 goals and provided 7 assists in 29 matches as Manchester United finished 3rd. However, he ended the season scoring the opening goal in United’s 3–0 victory over Millwall in the FA Cup final, earning his first trophy. His breakout season was the 2006–07 season, in which he scored 17 goals and provided 13 assists as Manchester United won the Premier League. For his performance, Ronaldo won the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player’s Player (PPY); Fans’ Player (FPY); Young Player of the Year (YPY); and Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year (FWA) award. He thus became the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA honors.
#2 Ronaldo won the European Golden Shoe for the 2007–08 season
The finest season of Ronaldo for the Manchester United came in 2007–08. During the season, he scored 31 goals in 34 matches to win the Premier League Golden Boot as Manchester United topped the league again. As of March 2020, his 31 goals are the second most in a 38-match EPL season with the record held by Mohamed Salah. For the 2007–08 season, Ronaldo also won the European Golden Shoe, awarded to the leading goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European national league. He additionally won the PPY, FPY and FWA for the second time in succession. To top all that, Ronaldo was the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club competition in European football. His efforts helped Manchester United win the Champions League. Ronaldo scored a total of 42 goals in all competitions during the 2007–08 season and he was named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year. In the 2008–09 season, Ronaldo scored 18 goals in 33 EPL games as Manchester United won the league for the third consecutive season. He also led United to an appearance in the 2009 Champions League final, which they lost to FC Barcelona. Ronaldo scored 26 goals in all competitions in the season, which proved to be his last for Manchester United.
#3 His 46 goals helped Real Madrid win their first La Liga title in four years
Ahead of the 2009–10 season, Ronaldo joined Spanish football club Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee at the time, of £80 million (€94 million). He made his debut in La Liga against Deportivo La Coruña on August 29, 2009. He scored a goal in the game in Madrid’s 3–2 home win. He went on to score on each of his first four league fixtures with the club, the first Madrid player to do so. He scored 33 goals in all competitions in the season as Madrid finished without a trophy. The following season, Ronaldo scored 42 goals in all competitions, equaling his personal best performance. For his performance, he won the European Golden Shoe for a second time, becoming the first player to win the award in two different leagues. Madrid finished second in La Liga and was eliminated in the semis in the Champions League. However, they did win the Copa del Rey, the first trophy in Spain for Ronaldo. In the 2011–12 season, Ronaldo scored 60 goals across all competitions to surpass his personal best. His 46 goals in La Liga helped Madrid win their first La Liga title in four years, with a record 100 points. Moreover, Ronaldo became the first player to score against all 19 opposition teams in a single season in La Liga. In the 2012–13 La Liga season, Ronaldo scored 34 goals in 34 matches as Madrid finished second. They also finished second in the Copa del Rey while they were defeated in the semis in the Champions League for the third consecutive year.
#4 He holds the record for most goals in a single Champions League season
In the 2013–14 season, Ronaldo scored 31 goals in 30 matches in La Liga. Though Madrid finished third in the season, Ronaldo won the Best Player in La Liga for his performance. In the Champions League, Ronaldo scored 17 goals as Real Madrid won the title. His 17 goals in a single Champions League season remain the highest ever as of March, 2020. Moreover, he also became the first player to score in two European Cup finals for two different winning teams. During the 2014–15 season, Ronaldo set a new personal best of 61 goals in all competitions. Madrid finished in second-place in La Liga while they exited at the semi-final stage in the Champions League. During the season, Ronaldo became the fastest player to reach 200 goals in the Spanish league, reaching the milestone in his 178th game. Moreover, his 48 goals in La Liga helped him win the European Golden Shoe for a fourth time. In the 2015–16 campaign, Ronaldo again scored more than 50 goals in all competitions. He scored 35 goals in La Liga as Madrid finished second; while in the Champions League he top scored again with 16 goals as Madrid lifted the trophy. For his performance, Ronaldo received the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award for a second time.
#5 He holds the record for being the fastest player to 300 La Liga goals
In the 2016–17 season, in the quarter finals of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, Ronaldo scored a ‘perfect’ hat-trick and reached his 100th UEFA Champions League goal, the first player to do so. In the 2017 Champions League final, Ronaldo scored two goals in Madrid’s victory against Juventus and became the top goalscorer for the fifth-straight season, and sixth overall, with 12 goals. He also became the first player to score in three finals in the Champions League era. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 25 goals in 29 matches as he helped Madrid to win their first La Liga title since 2012. In the 2017–18 season, Ronaldo scored 26 goals in 27 matches in the La Liga as Madrid finished 3rd in the league. During the season, Ronaldo scored his 300th goal in La Liga in his 286th appearance. This made him the fastest player to reach the landmark and only the second to do so after Lionel Messi. In the Champions League, Ronaldo finished as the top scorer of the tournament for the sixth consecutive season, ending the campaign with 15 goals. In the finals, Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 3–1 and Ronaldo became one of four player who have won the Champions League trophy five times. Only Francisco Gento has won the title six times.
#6 Ronaldo is the only player to win league titles in England, Spain and Italy
On July 10, 2018, Ronaldo signed a four-year contract with Italian club Juventus. The transfer was the highest ever for a player over 30 years old. Ronaldo made his Serie A debut against Chievo on August 18, 2018, but didn’t score in the match. He scored his first goal in his fourth appearance and by the 10th match, he had scored 7 goals equaling a record set by Welshman John Charles in the 1957-58 season. In his debut season for Juventus, Ronaldo scored 28 goals across competitions and was the top scorer for the club. His 21 goals in Serie A helped Juventus win the league and he won the inaugural Serie A Award for Most Valuable Player. Moreover, this made Ronaldo the first player to win league titles in England, Spain and Italy. In the Champions League, Juventus lost in the quarters. Thus Ronaldo’s run as the Champions League top scorer for 6 consecutive seasons came to an end. In the ongoing 2019–20 season, Ronaldo scored his first Serie A hat-trick on January 6, 2020. This made him the second player after Alexis Sánchez to score hat-tricks in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A. Moreover, in the Champions League, he has become the player with the most matches won in the tournament. He also equaled Raul’s record of scoring against 33 different Champions League opponents.
#7 His 99 goals are the second most in international football
Cristiano Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal on August 20, 2003 against Kazakhstan in a 1–0 victory. He scored his first international goal in Euro 2004, the 12th edition of the UEFA European Championship. He then helped Portugal reach the final by scoring the opening goal in a 2–1 win over the Netherlands. However, Portugal lost in the final to Greece. Ronaldo featured in the team of the tournament, with 2 goals and 2 assists. In the 2006 World Cup, he scored his first World Cup goal against Iran. Portugal lost to France in the semis of the tournament. Ronaldo could manage only one goal in the 2008 Euro Cup as Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Ronaldo became permanent captain of the Portuguese national team in July 2008. In the group stage of the 2010 World Cup, Ronaldo was named man of the match in all three matches against Ivory Coast, North Korea and Brazil. However, he could manage only one goal in the tournament as Portugal lost to eventual champions Spain in the pre-quarters. In Euro 2012, Ronaldo was the joint top scorer with 3 goals and was included in team of the tournament. However, Portugal were eliminated in the penalty shoot-out against Spain in the semis. During the qualification of 2104 World Cup, Ronaldo became the all time top goal-scorer for Portugal. As of March 2020, he has scored 99 international goals and is second on the list of most international goals ever scored after Ali Daei of Iran, who has scored 109 goals.
#8 Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to victory in the 2016 Euro Cup
In the 2014 World Cup, Portugal were eliminated in the group stage. However, Ronaldo’s goal against Ghana made him the first Portuguese to play and score in three World Cups. In the 2016 Euro Cup, Ronaldo became the first player to score in four Euro Cups when he scored two goals against Hungary in the last match of the group stage. In the semi-final against Wales, Ronaldo scored the opening goal and assisted the second in Portugal’s 2–0 victory. This made Ronaldo the competition’s all-time top scorer with nine goals, a record he shares with Michel Platini of France. Though Ronaldo was injured in the final, Portugal went on to defeat France 1–0 in their first-ever triumph in a major tournament. Ronaldo was awarded the Silver Boot as the joint second-highest goalscorer, with three goals and three assists. Moreover, he was named in the team of the tournament for the third time in his career. During the qualification of the 2108 World Cup, Ronaldo became the highest goalscorer in World Cup qualifying and finals matches combined, with 32 goals. In the 2018 World Cup, Ronaldo became the oldest player ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match, in a 3–3 draw against Spain. He then scored the lone goal in Portugal’s 1–0 victory against Morocco. Doing so, he became the highest European goal-scorer with 85 international goals. Portugal were eliminated from the World Cup following a 2–1 defeat to Uruguay in the round of 16. However, Ronaldo was named in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Dream Team for his stellar performance.
#9 He holds the record for most goals in the history of the Champions League
Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time and he holds a plethora of records, some of which are mentioned below. As of March, 2020, he has scored 743 goals in 1036 matches for club and country at a ratio of 0.72 goals/match. Ronaldo is the all time top goal-scorer for Real Madrid across competitions with 450 goals in 438 matches. Moreover, he is the second highest goal-scorer in La Liga of all time with 311 goals in 292 appearances; behind Lionel Messi, who has scored 438 goals in 474 La Liga games. Ronaldo was the first player to receive four European Golden Shoe awards though he has been overtaken by Messi, who has six such awards. In the Champions League, Ronaldo is the top goal-scorer of all time with 128 goals in 169 matches. Moreover, he holds the record for being the top scorer in most Champions League seasons with 7 such titles. Ronaldo is also the top scorer in the FIFA Club World Cup (7) and the UEFA Nations League Finals (3). In international football, Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in a calendar year. He scored 31 international goals in 2017. Moreover, he is the first player to score in ten consecutive international tournaments; and the player to score against most national teams (41). Ronaldo is also the only player to score more than 50 goals in 7 consecutive calendar years (2011–2017).
#10 His 5 Ballons d’Or awards are the most by a European player
The Ballon d’Or (“Golden Ball”) is a football award presented by the magazine France Football. Awarded since 1956, it is given to the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year. Ronaldo has won five Ballons d’Or (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017), which is the most by a European player and the second highest after Lionel Messi (6). Among his 5 titles, are two FIFA Ballon d’Or, an amalgamation of the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award. In addition to these, he was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008; and the The Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2016 and 2017. Apart from honors in the world of football, Ronaldo was ranked by the sports network ESPN as the world’s most famous athlete from 2016 to 2019. TIME magazine included him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014; and he was ranked as the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017. Moreover, in 2015, the Portuguese Football Federation named Ronaldo as the best Portuguese player of all time. Ronaldo has also made various contributions to charitable causes throughout his career. Among other things, he was named the world’s most charitable sportsperson in 2015 after donating £5 million to the relief effort after the earthquake in Nepal.