Whatever your opinions of the man, there’s no denying that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers and athletes of all-time. The Portuguese’s numbers are astonishing, as is his trophy hall. Throughout the years, he’s scored some truly logic-defying goals. Here, we take a look at three of the best.
1) Manchester United Vs. Portsmouth, 30/01/08: Ronaldo has been criticized for his free-kicks over the past few years or so – more of them tend to sail into the stands than hit the back of the net. But back in the day, Cristiano was the best dead-ball taker in the world. It’s almost impossible to describe the trajectory of the ball that he hit against Portsmouth at Old Trafford in 2008; it swerved and dipped before flying past a helpless David James in the Pompey goal. A masterpiece from Ronaldo.
2) Porto Vs. Manchester United, 15/04/2009: In the country of his birth, the stage was set for Ronaldo to shine, as it has been on countless occasions. In this Champions League quarter-final second leg, United were drawing 2-2 on aggregate with Portuguese champions Porto.
Because of Porto’s superior away goal tally, United needed to win in Estádio do Dragão – a feat which had, at this point, not been achieved by any English side. Up stepped Ronaldo. He hit an absolute thunderbolt from nigh-on 40 yards which flew into the top-left corner. The most impressive thing about this goal was not the distance it flew, but the venom with which it was struck; one of the all-time great Champions League goals.
3) Juventus Vs. Real Madrid, 03/04/2018: When Real Madrid met Juventus in Turin in 2018, the Spanish side had won back-to-back Champions Leagues. This absolutely staggering overhead kick ensured a winning margin of three goals over one of Europe’s best defences and sent them on their way to the semi-finals – Real Madrid ultimately won the competition for a third time in a row, the only team in the modern era to do so.
From Caravajal’s out-swinging cross, Ronaldo leaped almost to his standing height, expertly adjusted his body shape and struck the ball cleanly past a despairing Buffo. It has become one of the most iconic moments in Ronaldo’s illustrious career; even more so given that it lead to his eventual transfer to Juventus at the end of the season